ARCADIA (FOX 13) - 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.