KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) - Lara and Victoria Martin said their 18-year-old brother wasn't at the fire that killed three young children at a Kalamazoo apartment Monday afternoon, and he's not responsible for their deaths.
Fred William Glespie Jr. was arrested on an outstanding warrant related to driving on a suspended license last year. He's now being lodged in the Berrien County Jail.
Three-year-old fraternal twins, Taniyah and Tevin Williams, and their 1-year-old sister Tyonna Henderson died in the fire. Their mother attempted to enter the burning building to save them but was halted by the intense flames.
Police said no one was with the children when the fire started. Investigators have not released a cause of the blaze as their investigation continues.
Records show Glespie was arrested by Michigan State Police on the day of the fire. He has an address at Interfaith Apartments, where the fire happened.
"I know for a fact he wasn't there," his sister Lara Martin told 24 Hour News 8.
"We talked to him and he was like, 'I was not at the house with those kids,'" another sister, Victoria Martin, said. "I believe my brother. He wouldn't lie over something like that. He's a very honest person and I know if he was there with those kids he would have said he was there."
They claim he had been there earlier that day, hanging out at the home of Jonetta Woods -- his girlfriend of about six months -- but he left.
That goes directly against what Woods told 24 Hour News 8.
"She just left the kids there and blamed it on him, somebody to blame," Victoria Martin said.
24 Hour News 8 learned that Child Protective Services did name Glespie in a petition to remove Woods' remaining living child from her custody. The petition says both Woods and Glespie were responsible for the kids the day they died, and that Glespie's "unstable mental health" would put the child at harm.
But his sisters say he is mentally stable and only needed a little extra help while he was in school. They claim he's a good father to his own three children and that he cared about Woods' kids, too.
"If he was the boyfriend that doesn't mean charge him just because he was the boyfriend," Victoria said. "Charge him if he was supposed to be there watching the kids."
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