Written April 16, 2012     
 

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© 2015 Bob Lonsberry

 
 
HOW SOME CHILDREN CAME TO DIE

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At 82 Grape Street, in the front bedroom, on the Saturday after Valentine’s Day, Bobbie Kugler started a fire.

That’s what the fire chief said.

Fourth-degree arson.

That’s when you intentionally start a fire that recklessly damages a building.

That’s what it would have been.

Except for the kids.

They were all through the house. The one in her arms, the four others she’d borne, the two who were visiting, the one she had let move in.

The firefighters got one, three more jumped out a window, but the flames took four.

That’s second-degree manslaughter.

That’s when you recklessly cause someone else to die.

That’s a lot of reckless.

The firemen had been out front for a completely unrelated don’t-cheat-on-me bonfire. Girlfriend puts boyfriend’s clothes on the curb and sets them on fire. It was a good thing she did. Because that brought two trucks, and a crew which conscientiously did a walk around. And from the backyard they saw the flames and instantly reacted.

Or they’d have all been dead. It would have been more of a death house than it was.

The policeman at the press conference wouldn’t say what she did. The fire. The recklessness. What she was doing that she started a fire that killed her children.

Was it drugs? Was it candles? Was it fondue? Was it some act of anger or spite?

What was it, other than reckless?

It kind of all hangs on that. Was she engaged in an act of stupidity or maliciousness? Is she an idiot or a killer? Could it have been what is essentially an accident, or was it a crime, beginning to end?

Recklessness is when you don’t specifically intend a bad thing to happen, but you are aware that it could happen, but don’t care, and do it anyway. Recklessness is when you don’t care about the consequences of your actions.

Which doesn’t give us a clue.

And we are left with nothing more than the sickening allegation that Rochester’s most-lethal fire in years is a case of a mother killing her kids. The charges claim that something she did on purpose started the fire that killed them. Gage was 14, Greg was 13, Kandee was 12 and Kaiden was 6.

And they were killed by an inferno that began in their mother’s bedroom.

The house is nearly rebuilt now, and kids play across the neighborhood. You can see the soccer stadium from the front yard, and life in this corner of the city goes on as it did before.

Nothing has changed.

Except what the chiefs announced.

That it wasn’t just a tragedy. It was a crime.

The crime of carelessness carried to an horrific extreme.


- by Bob Lonsberry © 2012

   
        
   
 
    

Date Title Comments
Jan 29 ADVICE FOR THE YOUTH OF ROCHESTER 39
Jan 28 I'M A SECOND-CLASS CITIZEN 34
Jan 27 THE PSYCHOLOGY OF ILLEGITIMACY 23
Jan 26 THE CONSTITUTION REQUIRES COMPROMISE 38
Jan 23 SILVER AND THOSE LIKE HIM MUST GO 64
Jan 22 THE FARMER IS OUR FRIEND 28
Jan 21 THE BOOING OF MAYORS AND NEWSPAPERS 47
Jan 20 FIGHT POVERTY BY CHANGING BEHAVIOR 49
Jan 19 I TRIED TO KILL MYSELF ONCE 33
Jan 16 CUOMO'S UPSTATE PLAN IS POLITICAL PAYBACK 38
Jan 15 TERRORISTS VS THE SECOND AMENDMENT 37
Jan 14 A LETTER TO MITT ROMNEY 43
Jan 13 MAKING A HEEL OF MYSELF 53
Jan 12 FRENCH CARTOONS WERE DISGUSTING 40
Jan 9 ON FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IN AMERICA 32
Jan 8 JOIN THIS CIVIL RIGHTS FIGHT 30
Jan 7 SYRACUSE COPS, REPORTERS GET IT WRONG 37
Jan 6 WHEN IS A FAMILY NOT A FAMILY 49
Jan 5 LOVELY WARREN'S FIRST YEAR 25
Jan 2 TWENTY YEARS IN TALK RADIO 47
  Previous Titles »  


      
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