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3 children dead, 2 injured after house fire in Paulding County; mother arrested

By Jamarlo Phillips

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    ATLANTA, Georgia (WGCL) — A Paulding County mother has been arrested after three young children died and several others were injured in a house fire Friday night.

According to police, a neighbor called 911 just before 9:30 p.m. Friday after a domestic disturbance and noticing smoke and flames billowing out of the windows of a home located on Woodwind Drive.

Police said seven children were inside the home when the fire started.

They say it was initially reported that a female who was inside the home was attempting to stab the occupants and that at the time of the call, the home was on fire and the occupants were inside.

When firefighters arrived at the home, they discovered two young children unresponsive. Police said an infant and another child in the age range of 3-5 years old were found with burns at the top of the stairs inside the home.

A third child in the age range of 5-6 years old was flown to Grady Hospital with 75% burns, police said. A fourth child in the age range of 7-8 years old was taken to Wellstar Cobb Hospital.

Police said three other kids between the ages of 14 and 16 years old jumped out of a second-floor window. One child suffered an ankle injury and the other two were not injured.

The mother of the children was arrested after sheriff deputies found her in the backyard of the home uninjured.

Police said 40-year-old Darlene Brister is being charged with two counts of malice murder but more charges are likely in this case.

The Paulding County Sheriff’s Office, Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the state fire marshal’s office are investigating the incident.

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