Woman arrested after 3 children killed in fire

- A Polk County woman is charged with murder and arson after authorities say she set fire to her boyfriend's house, killing his three grandchildren.

Detectives say Marian Williams of Bartow started the fire Saturday morning while the children were sleeping in the Arcadia home.  She escaped unharmed, but 10-year-old Marcus, 8-year-old Kiani, and 4-year-old Kemaren Clark all died in the fire.

The boys' grandfather, Arnold Mele, is in the ICU in Bradenton.

Neighbors in the tight-knit community can't believe what happened.

“Everybody is going to feel it. This is Arcadia. Everybody grew up here,” offered Terry Bing Sr. “It's just like family, regardless if you come from the same mother or not."

Williams is being held without bond in the Desoto County jail.  She was in jail last week for burglarizing the same house, and was only released Friday, the day before the fire.

Authorities are still investigating specifically how the fire was started.

Up Next:


Up Next

  • Woman arrested after 3 children killed in fire
  • Lockheed Martin celebrates 20 years in Pinellas
  • Water Street project plan visuals released
  • Girl dies after being hit by truck in Riverview neighborhood
  • Lakeland K9 unit members disciplined for speeding
  • Ybor City security guard skips court, prompting new warrant
  • Gibsonton man allegedly tweeted child porn to local TV anchor
  • Tampa police unveil pink patrol cars for breast cancer awareness
  • Feeling lucky? Powerball jackpot climbs to $700 million
  • Pedestrian hit and killed by Lakeland city employee