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Welfare agency probes caseworker oversight in Chicago fire

CHICAGO — The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services’ inspector general is investigating whether caseworkers “missed opportunities” to ensure better supervision at the Chicago home where 10 children died in a fire.

Officials say DCFS had investigated the mother who lived in the apartment where the fire occurred 21 times since 2004 for inadequate supervision. The complaints were verified twice, including in 2013 when a son with autism was found wandering in traffic.

The inspector general investigates every child fatality when the department had contact with the family within a year of the death.

The children aged from 3 months to 16 years were attending a sleepover when the fire broke out in the apartment early Sunday.

Fire officials are trying to determine what caused the blaze. Foul play isn’t suspected.