Neighbors of a Davenport man whose two-year-old son was found home alone during a fire say he is a good dad who made a bad mistake.
Davenport fire investigators charged 21-year-old Edgar Mendoza with felony child endangerment on Thursday, nearly one week after the toddler was rescued from a house fire by first responders.
Neighbor Amber Knoeferl says Mendoza is usually an attentive father to both his infant son and the two-year-old boy.
"He's a great dad. I see him playing with his son all the time, taking him to the park," Knoeferl said. "I just feel like he made the wrong choice for the wrong time," she said.
She says Mendoza and his girlfriend brought along the baby when he drove her to work Thursday morning, but left the two-year-old to sleep on the couch while they were gone.
Fire investigators say a skillet with hot grease left on the stove sparked the blaze. Luckily, firefighters were called in time to rescue the boy, who was taken to the hospital. His condition not released.
Neighbor Theresa Knoeferl says she believes at least one of the parents needed to be charged to send a message.
"I think he should be charged because he should not have left his kid at home alone. Period," she said.
Another neighbor, Jacob Hill, the father of several children, including a nine-month-old son says even though the couple may have thought their child would be safe, it's not acceptable.
"It's pretty stupid to do, leave your kid. No matter what, I don't care if you have to take your wife to work, you take your baby with you," Hill said.
The mother has not been criminally charged. As of Friday afternoon, September 6, Mendoza was not in the Scott County Jail.