MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Authorities say the mother of three children who died in a fire was not home when the blaze started.

Six-year-old Latorious Thomas, 5-year-old Latoria Thomas and 23-month-old Latorianna Thomas died earlier this month.

In a search warrant application, Minneapolis police Sgt. Sean McKenna wrote that he doesn't believe their mother was home, and the lack of a competent adult with three sleeping kids was a factor in their deaths.

The Star Tribune reports that investigators say the woman had no soot on her and no noticeable smell of smoke. The 26-year-old mother also appeared to be drinking.

The woman told reporters she couldn't turn on the furnace so she used the oven for warmth.

City officials have said the landlord complied with inspections and had no citations.