The mom of the children trapped inside a motel that caught fire on October 9 in Spring, Texas, says she doesn’t blame the babysitter who was supposed to be with them. Sitter Tara Piccione, 31, was supposed to be watching two children at a Motel 6 when she left the children in their room to pick up a pizza, according to ABC 13.
While Piccione was away, the two children, ages 3 and 6, reportedly sparked a three-alarm fire that destroyed much of the motel property. The fire occurred after the boy and girl found a lighter in the room, according to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office.
The lighter caught the bedding inside their motel room on fire. When the 6-year-old girl realized what her 3-year-old brother had done, she scooped him up and ran outside of the motel room. Other adults nearby took over when they noticed the children were alone.
As other customers began evacuating the building, Piccione returned with pizza. The children, along with several others, were admitted to a local hospital for smoke inhalation and 25 families living in the motel were displaced. However, thankfully, ABC 13 reports no one lost their life.
Dayeisha Finley said her children were being cared for by Piccione, a friend of hers, since October 8. She told ABC 13 she “wasn’t angry” with Piccione and added that she went out to get the pizza for the kids. Finley just wants to make sure her friend is okay.
“She just simply told my daughterStay here, watch your brother, I’m just going to go grab some pizza. Tara called me and she was, I couldn’t understand nothing, she was all over until she said ‘I just believe I’m going to jail’.”
Finley also wants people to know Piccione is not a bad person. Piccione was arrested and charged with two counts of child abandonment with intent to return. She has since been released on a $2,000 bond.
The mother has only known Piccione for six months, but the two have grown to be very close. It’s unclear when Piccione is scheduled to appear in court. Finley’s children, who she says knows better than to play with a lighter, are expected to make a full recovery.
The mom also told ABC 13 that she apologizes on her son’s behalf. “Kids gonna be kids. They gonna be curious.”