Written April 16, 2012     
 

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© 2014 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
Jul 21 WHERE I GOT MY RED WHISKERS 33
Jul 14 RIOTS OF 1964 ARE NOTHING TO CELEBRATE 49
Jul 9 A LETTER TO MITT ROMNEY 78
Jul 1 ON THE LOSS OF A FRIENDLY VOICE 94
Jun 30 'SO MUCH TO BE PROUD OF IN THIS DISTRICT' 43
Jun 26 SEND THEM HOME -- THEIRS, NOT OURS 76
Jun 23 KINDERGARTEN IS TOO LATE 65
Jun 16 DID THEY DIE IN VAIN? 57
Jun 12 WE BROKE THE WORLD 61
Jun 11 WHY ERIC CANTOR LOST 36
Jun 10 WE ARE NOT AT WAR WITH THE COPS 43
Jun 9 A REFERENDUM ON THE N.Y. STATUS QUO 25
Jun 5 MEDICAL MARIJUANA IS A FRAUD 64
Jun 4 ASSEMBLYMAN DUMPS HOUSE ON THE CITY 32
May 29 I WANT MY POLITICS A LA CARTE 55
May 21 CONGRESSWOMAN'S HUSBAND DIES AT 82 19
May 20 GANDER MOUNTAIN LAWSUIT IS WRONG 18
May 14 SHOULD MUG SHOTS BE KEPT PRIVATE? 64
May 12 WHAT YESTERDAY WAS REALLY ABOUT 23
May 6 NOBODY PUSHED BOB DUFFY 40
  Previous Titles »  


      
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