WEBSTER, Mass. (AP) – A mother was arrested after a fire broke out in her family’s apartment when she left her three young children home alone and went to the store.

Christina Page, 28, left her 3-year-old son and 2-month-old twins home alone for at least an hour Saturday, police said. While she was gone, food left cooking on the stove started a fire in the first-floor apartment.

Page was scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Dudley District Court on three counts each of permitting bodily injury to a child and wanton reckless behavior causing risk to a child.

The building’s owner, Anne Kuria, made a frantic 911 call after she smelled smoke.

“Do you see any smoke?” a dispatcher can be heard asking Kuria on the 911 tape.

“Yeah, it’s coming from down here … Oh, my God!” Kuria said as she arrived at the apartment.

Webster Police Chief Timothy Bent said Kuria could not see the children, but heard them crying.

Two police officers and a firefighter rushed into the apartment and rescued the children. They were treated at a hospital for smoke inhalation and put in the custody of the state Department of Social Services.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Bent said. “We’re fortunate and we’re thankful that the children weren’t killed.”

Page’s attorney, John Bowes, did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

AP-ES-04-28-08 1548EDT


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