Police: Fire broke out after mother left children home unsupervised; 5-year-old had to help siblings escape


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A Norfolk woman was charged after police say a fire broke out while her four young children were home alone unsupervised.

The fire happened around 9:30 a.m. Valentine’s Day.

Police say witnesses went to the back corner of the home and found that the oldest child home at the time, a 5-year-old girl, had broken a window and was attempting to evacuate her three younger siblings from the burning home on E. Ocean Ave. The children ranged in age from 1 to 5, police said.

All of the children were able to safely escape. Police say they had been left alone without supervision while their mother was dropping their older siblings off at school.

The children’s mother, 33-year-old Krystle Barnes, returned home while the house was still on fire, police say. She was taken into custody and charged with four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Police didn’t have additional details in an incident report, but a local pastor says the family lost everything in the fire. Ocean View Lighthouse Church is holding a collection to help.

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