Babysitter charged after kids start fire at Texas motel with lighter

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SPRING, Texas (AP) Warrants have been issued charging a babysitter with child abandonment after she left two young children alone in a suburban Houston motel room, leaving them to play with a lighter that caused a three-alarm fire.

Fire investigators say two young children who were left alone in a suburban Houston motel room were playing with a lighter that caused a three-alarm fire, resulting in minor injuries to seven people. (CNN VAN photo)

Seven people suffered minor injuries in the Wednesday fire at the Motel 6 North just off Interstate 45 in Spring, about 20 miles north of Houston.

Rachel Moreno, spokeswoman for the Harris County Fire Marshal's Office, said the two siblings, ages 3 and 6, were among the seven.

The warrants charge 31-year-old Tara Elizabeth Piccione with two counts of child abandonment with intent to return.
Witnesses say she was seen returning to the motel with a pizza as the motel was being evacuated.