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13 year old girl is in custody and accused of setting her family's home on fire

 A 13 year old girl is in custody and accused of setting her family's home on fire. The family lived in the Barbee Lake area of Kosciusko County.

Neighbor, James Shepherd, describes the site he saw Monday night just a little before 11pm. “It was so bright over there I kept trying to figure out what was going on I thought at first it was another house on the other side because he had been burning leaves and I didn't realize until this morning it was this house here.”

Shepherd adds that Kosciusko County Sheriff's department and along with Northern Webster and Tippecanoe Fires departments gathered around the house last night to put out and investigate a fire that was concentrated in the upper level of the house. 

 A couple and their 13 year old daughter live in that home. Shepherd says he did not know the family very well but did see the teen from time to time. 

Shepherd describes the 13 year old girl who the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department says is their main suspect in the house fire.

“Usually we have a bunch of kids in this circle, but there was hardly anybody ever with her she was always just by herself had her head down,” says Shepherd.  

Sergeant Chad Hill of the Kosciusko County Sheriff's Department describes the scene his department arrived to. “Shorty before 11pm we received a call for a residential fire in the Barbee Lake Chain area. Officers as well as the North Webster fire department had responded to the area. When the officers were in route they were advised that there were two people in the house. Officers arrived and located a 13 year old female outside the residence.”

The parents were able to escape after the teen told neighbors of the fire. According to police, it was them who alerted the couple of the danger. As firefighters put out the flames, deputies and detectives talked with the teen. 

Sergeant Hill says “Information was obtained by our deputies conversing with the juvenile. That led officers to believe that we needed to do more investigating about the nature and cause of the fire and it basically unfolded from that point.”

 The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation and at this time, charges against the teen haven't been filed as they are continuing to investigate her mental state. 

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