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Mother of two killed in fire speaks after Robert Scales preliminary hearing

Posted at 4:39 PM, Jul 15, 2020

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The man charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter in a fire that killed his wife and three children was back in court Wednesday for a preliminary hearing.

FOX 17 spoke with the mother of two of the victims for the first time since the fire in February.

Natoya Aimery, the mother of Robert Jr. and Elijah Scales, is speaking on behalf of her two sons.

“They can’t speak they can’t share their story. But those of us that are here…that are left behind…We’re here to tell their story. And their story is going to get heard,” Aimery said.

A story that starts with a fire on February 5th on Dawes Avenue in Grand Rapids. Elijah and Robert Jr. were killed along with their stepbrother Xavier, and stepmother Wanedia.

“It’s been a very emotional day,” Aimery said.

Prosecutors say Robert Scales negligence lead to the fire that killed his wife and children. A judge agreed there is enough evidence against him, and bound the case over to circuit court.

Scales is currently out on bond.

“They were my babies. They loved their mother. I loved them to death, they loved their sisters. They have a new sister they never got a chance to meet,” Aimery said.

For Natoya this is a reminder for everyone to check smoke detectors. She checks hers every day, because there were none working in the home at the time of the deadly fire.

“I want people to take this story very serious. I’m glad that their story has reached out…not just across Grand Rapids, but across the nation,” Aimery said.

Natoya says she has faith justice will be brought on behalf of her sons and the two others killed. She's challenging the system to do better.

“It should also make aware to authorities, that if you see a situation, where a woman or children are being in danger, that you shouldn't turn the other cheek and look away," Aimery said.

Referencing the personal protection order Wanedia attempted to take out against Robert Scales just months before her death, saying that should have been a red flag.

“Because it cost four lives,” Aimery said.

“It could have been prevented.”

Scales is not charged with murder. Prosecutors say they could not prove he intentionally set the fire, which we learned today started in a fire pit that was close to the home.

Family of the victims also expressed disappointment that Scales was able to get out on bond, saying they don't understand how it was set so low given his charges.