Police say a woman burning photos of her ex-boyfriend caused the house fire that killed four of her children.
Bobbie Kugler, 31, faces charges of fourth-degree arson and four counts of second-degree manslaughter after an investigation into the blaze in February of this year that took the lives of Gage Reavey, 14, Greg Kugler, 13, Kandee Kugler, 12, and Kaiden Kugler, 6.
According to police, Kugler admitted to starting the deadly fire at her previous home in Rochester, New York, after she lit the photos and threw them on a dresser which lit other flammable materials. Kugler’s lawyer denied that claim, adding, “I’m sure we’ll be litigating that issue.”
Kugler’s father, James Reavey, claims that the fire was accidental and started by burning incense.
“There was incense on the wall and a piece of ash had fallen on some papers in a basket,” Reavy told WETM-TV. “The window was open a little and that fueled it. Bobbie was sleeping. She always had incense in her house.”
Kugler’s 2-year-old son, Tyron Jackson, was rescued from the home by firefighters, the Democrat and Chronicle reports. Kugler’s other 3-year-old child was staying elsewhere at the time of the fire.
Firefighters had reportedly arrived within minutes to the scene of the fire, but the wood house became engulfed in flames so quickly they were unable to save the four children who were sleeping on the second floor. Three other people staying at the house at the time were able to escape through windows.
Kugler has pleaded not guilty and is being held in lieu of $300,000 bail or $1 million bond. She will return to court on Wednesday.
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