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Father Of 8-Year-Old Who Died In House Fire Charged With Child Neglect

LAUDERHILL (CBSMiami) - The father of an 8-year-old boy who died in a house fire is facing a charge of child neglect, according to Lauderhill Police.

Wisler Isme turned himself in at the Broward County Jail on Tuesday night. He spoke briefly to CBS 4 News.

"Everything happen for a reason," Isme said. "Just got to pray about situations."

Lauderhill Police tell CBS 4 News that Wisler Isme was home alone with his sons -- Jayden, 8, and Justin, 9, while their mother Melanie Harvey was at work on Monday, June 23. Police say Harvey had car trouble and called Isme. Investigators say Isme left the children alone -- possibly for hours -- and when he and Harvey returned to the home it was fully engulfed in flames.

Isme had little to say about the accusation that he left his boys alone.

"I didn't hear that," he said.

But a 9-1-1 call made in the moments after the fire tells a different story. Justin Isme was speaking with a woman who reported the early morning fire. She asked the boy questions about what happened.

CALLER: "Where's your mom?"
BOY: "She was at work. My dad was here."
CALLER: "Where's your dad?"
BOY: (Unintelligible)
CALLER: "Your dad left?"
BOY: "My dad left us."

According to the boys' grandfather, the 8-year-old woke up first and alerted his older brother but he said that Jayden was reluctant to jump out the window after his older brother, Justin. Following the fire, a judge placed Justin in the care of a teacher who is a family friend. Promithious Denmark says she taught his brother at Royal Palm Elementary.

"I want to provide some normalcy for Justin," she said. "But at the end of the day, we have a mother who lost a son and a father who lost a son."

The judge ordered grief counseling for Justin Isme who said that he and his brother were inseparable.

In the days after the fire a memorial grew to Jayden -- known as Yoyo. Friends and neighbors described him as a happy child who loved to ride his bike and play football.

Last week a judge ordered the surviving child Justin to live with a teacher while allowing his mother -- Melanie Harvey to have supervised visits with him. The judge told their mother she may have to take parenting classes and cooperate with the court if she wants to regain permanent custody of her surviving child at a later time.

As for Isme, his Facebook page is a memorial to his son who died. There are pleas for donations to help pay for funeral expenses as well as prayers and wishes from dozens of people. In his brief interview with CBS 4 News, Isme alluded to the challenges of the past several days.

"A lot of things tough in life," he said. "A lot of things tough but it is what it is."

Police say the cause of the fire has not been determined. Police believe there may have been a lit candle in the boys' bedroom and that started the fire.

Isme is expected to stand before a judge at some point on Wednesday on the charge of child neglect.


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