Mother charged in fire deaths of 4 children in NY

AP News
Posted: Apr 13, 2012 5:16 PM
Mother charged in fire deaths of 4 children in NY

A mother who was rescued from a house fire that killed four of her children was charged Friday with setting the fire, but authorities would say little about how or why.

Bobbie Kugler, 31, was scheduled to be arraigned in Rochester City Court Saturday on four counts of manslaughter and arson, Fire Chief John Caufield said at a news conference.

Kugler is the mother of 14-year-old Gage Reavey, 13-year-old Greg Kugler, 12-year-old Kandee Kugler and 6-year-old Kaiden Kugler. All died in the Feb. 18 fire in their two-story Rochester home.

Firefighters rescued the mother and her 2-year-old son, Tyron Jackson, from the first floor.

"This fire is a result of human intervention. This was not an accidental fire," Caufield said.

Fire officials said the blaze began in a first-floor bedroom but declined to say how it started or elaborate on the mother's involvement or motive, citing the pending legal case.

"She is being charged specifically with arson, that being setting a fire and causing the death of her four children," Deputy Chief Mike Wood said.

Charges of manslaughter, he said, stem from "recklessly causing the death of another human being."

Officials didn't discuss whether more serious charges were considered or are possible.

Kugler was arrested Friday in Poughkeepsie, where she has been living. It wasn't known if she had a lawyer. No one answered the phone at a telephone listing in her name.

The fire was reported at about 1 a.m. and spread so quickly through the wood-framed building that firefighters, despite arriving within minutes, were unable to reach the children trapped on the upper floor.

A family friend and two teens who had been sleeping over at the house escaped by jumping from second-floor windows.