Three children, aged eight, 10 and 13, were left alone at home for three days before Christmas after their single-parent father was arrested at a hospital -- and no one was notified.
While they were alone, one of the children, a 10-year-old boy, was badly burned after spilling spaghetti on his bare chest as he removed it from the microwave oven, the child said in an interview. There was no telephone at the house.
The children's father, Randy Lafond, blames the arresting officer for not informing anyone, but Lafond also appears to have missed opportunities to ensure the children were safe.
Saskatoon police Chief Clive Weighill said he is aware of the allegation and has launched an internal investigation.
"Standard procedure is if you go to a home and their kids are there you call social services. . . . I don't know if that's a true portrayal of what happened. We have no way to defend ourselves until we have it investigated," Weighill said.
The children -- Randy, 13, Bryton, 10, and Shelayne, 8 -- said they were sad and worried when their father and no other grown-ups came to visit.
Randy awoke the first night to the sound of Bryton crying.
Bryton said he had heated a flat container of frozen spaghetti in the microwave and was shirtless when he removed it. The container folded at the centre and collapsed, causing it to spill onto his chest. The resulting burn blistered and wrinkled his skin, he said.
Bryton said he held a bag of frozen corn to his chest to ease the pain that got "badder, then better, then badder" over the three days they remained alone.
The children's mother arrived about the same time as their aunt did on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Their mother drove Bryton to the hospital that day, where he was treated and released, said Randy's mother, Winona Lafond.
In a telephone interview from jail this week, Randy Lafond, 39, said he asked the police officer who arrested him to notify his mother, but he did not get any assurance from the officer.
Lafond said he declined his right to call a lawyer when he was booked in at the police station that day.
Lafond was sick with a suspected case of food poisoning and didn't call his mother from jail during the next three days, before the children were discovered.