Olive Branch homeowner charged after fire burns baby

Michael Atkins

OLIVE BRANCH, MIss. — Police have charged an Olive Branch man after a fire severely burned a 10-month-old baby.

Michael Atkins, 61, of 7762 Keely Cove, was charged with felony child neglect Wednesday. He is free on $5,000 bond.

Atkins owned the home on Keely Cove where fire broke out Monday in a converted rear shed. A family including a 32-year-old man, a 19-year-old woman and the baby were living in the apartment.

The baby was in its crib inside the building alone when the fire started, according to police reports. It was not clear how long the baby was left alone.

The father was down the street doing yard work while the woman was in the garage when they were alerted to the blaze.

The baby was flown to the burn center at University of Cincinnati Medical Center, police said.

The case remains an open and active investigation, Olive Branch Police said Thursday.