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Mother Sets House Ablaze With Family Barricaded Inside

A South Carolina woman was arrested on charges of arson and attempted murder after reportedly setting her house ablaze with her family trapped inside because she felt "disrespected."

Willie Mae McQuilla, 67, confessed to burning her house when responding deputies arrived on scene May 13 at around 5 p.m. WISTV reports that multiple 911 calls were made, saying McQuilla started the fire. 

McQuilla said she trapped her family inside the house by barricading the doors. She then allegedly torched the residence. Her husband and her two adult children were able to escape without injury.

A spokesperson for the Sumter County Sheriff's Office said that McQuilla told an officer that she was "tired of being disrespected," reports the Daily Mail.

The 67-year-old was arrested and is currently in the Sumter-Lee Detention Center awaiting a bail hearing set for May 14. Her next scheduled court appearance is July 7.

The Red Cross is assisting McQuilla's family.

Something similar happened in Fairfield County, South Carolina, on May 8, when Sharon Coleman, 34, was arrested for her connection to a house fire that killed her husband and two young children.

Authorities were called to a residence at around 3:30 a.m. Coleman was the one to report the fire, saying that she wasn't in the house because she was out for a walk.

"She left the house to go for a walk, and when she returned, the house was on fire, is what she said," Fairfield County Sheriff Will Montgomery told The State. "She made statements in the interview that led to her arrest."

The woman's motive remains unknown.

Coleman's husband, 29-year-old Justin Omar Wilson, as well as her two children, 8-year-old Kemya Coleman and 6-year-old Deshawn Wilson, died from carbon monoxide poisoning and fatal burns. According to WISTV, Justin was Kemya's stepfather and Deshawn's father. The grandmother, who also lives in the house, was not there at the time of the fire.

"Based on this investigation, Ms. Coleman has been arrested for arson and three counts of murder. This is still an active, ongoing investigation and we are limited on what information we can release at this time," Montgomery said. "We want to continue to remember those affected by this tragic event and to keep them in our thoughts and prayers."

Fairfield County Coroner Chris Hill says that the victims were most likely asleep when the house was set ablaze and that there are no signs of restraint. The office is still waiting on toxicology results.

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division is assisting in determining the cause of the fire.

"We want to continue to remember those affected by this tragic event and to keep them in our thoughts and prayers," said Montgomery.

Sources: WISTV (2), Daily Mail, The State / Photo credit: Rob Swystun/Flickr

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