DETROIT -

The father of two young boys who died in a Detroit house fire has been sentenced to prison on manslaughter charges for leaving the children alone.

Damien Washington, 4, and Mekhi Williams, 1, were killed Dec.6 when their home on Prairie Street caught fire. At the time of the fire, their father, Kevin Washington, told Local 4 he had only left his sons for 10 minutes and tried to rescue them when he realized what was happening.

"Everybody threw me down. Nobody would let me get close," he said.

He later pleaded guilty to two counts of involuntary manslaughter for failing to supervise the children.

On Tuesday, Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway sentenced Washington to 36 months to 15 years in prison - with credit for 199 days. She also ordered counseling for Washington.

“Small children and babies require constant, constant attention. At a moment’s notice, when you’re not paying attention to the children, something tragic can happen," Hathaway said. “We have a lifelong heartache situation.”