(KMOV) – A St. Louis mother is accused of starting a fire in her home while her four children were inside.
According to a statement filed by police LaWanda Waters, 34, started the fire in the bedroom as her four children were still inside. She walked into the kitchen and began to burn a piece of paper with a lighter.
Almost instantly, one of her sons between the ages of 8 to 14, put out the kitchen fire. Police say children started smelling smoke coming from the bedroom.
"They discovered the bed engulfed in flames, and their efforts to extinguish the fire failed."
At that point, they ran to safety as did Waters who is now in police custody at a local hospital.
Neighbors say they have been fearful of the woman who they claim had frequently violent outbursts, sometimes around the kids.
On Thursday, she was separated from her children and charged with arson and four counts of endangering the welfare of a child.