Girl, 4, starts Tempe house fire while home alone

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

TEMPE, Ariz. -- A Tempe mother is facing charges after her 4-year-old daughter started a house fire on Tuesday.

Tempe police Lt. Mike Pooley said the child was left home alone with a candle burning while her mother went down the street to pick up a sibling from school.

The mother reportedly was gone for about 10 minutes.

Pooley said the child decided to take a piece of paper to the candle and the paper caught on fire. The girl got scared, dropped the paper and ran to the neighbor's house, saying her house was on fire.

The neighbor called 911 and went back to the house, which was full of smoke, and doused the piece of paper.

The fire was already out when firefighters arrived at the house near Rural Road and Southern Avenue.

While police officers and firefighters were looking for the girl's parents, her mother arrived home and was cited for endangerment. Pooley said more charges could be pending.