Children charged with arson in house fires

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The two children who started the fire that destroyed two houses Friday morning are now being charged with arson.

Two Northaven homes went up in flames Friday morning, and the first started at a home on Bitter Creek after 11 a.m.

Shelby County Sheriff's Office spokesman Earle Farrell said the 10-year-old girl and 11-year-old boy were burning trash at their home when the house caught fire.

Farrell said investigators thought the fire was accidental at first and planned to release the children to their parents. During questioning, however, they discovered the fire was set intentionally.

Both are charged with two counts of aggravated arson and are currently in juvenile court.

The fire quickly spread to Sharona Hill's home next door, and she too lost everything.

"I don't have anything," Hill said. "I have a 2-week-old baby and everything that I need and have for him is in my house."

Firefighters evacuated the area in fear the fire would spread further, but the blaze was eventually extinguished.

Farrell said four children, ages 10-14, were home alone when the fire began.

"Unsupervised children, summertime, they're out of school, and you've got to keep your eyes on these kids," Farrell said.

The two homes were completely destroyed, and the families are now displaced.

Memphis Fire Department officials said there are no burn permits issued in that area, so any burning would be illegal.

Luckily, there were no injuries.

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