Woman Charged in Valdosta Arson Deaths

By: Bill Pearson
By: Bill Pearson

A woman accused of arson is under arrest, charged with several murders.

The deadly attack happened early Tuesday morning in Valdosta. Four people are confirmed dead so far; four more people were pulled to safety.

Until Tuesday afternoon, investigators remained hopeful that only one person had died in the fire, but that hope faded when crews discovered three more bodies.

Valdosta police arrested 36-year-old Cynthia Allen early Tuesday morning and charged her with arson for starting the fire that engulfed the home on North Troup Street.

Four people were killed in the blaze, but the death toll could have been worse if it hadn't been for people like James Calhoun who saw the fire, and then came to help save half of the people in the home.

James Calhoun says, "One guy says, 'People are in here,' so I ran to the back door and when I got there they were laying on the floor trying to get out. I went in there and I started pulling them out of the fire, four humans, three men, one woman."

Those victims were then rushed to the hospital for treatment.

While this fire completely gutted the home, local authorities say people who live nearby should be grateful because firefighters arrived in time to prevent the blaze from spreading throughout the entire neighborhood.

Brian K. Childress, Valdosta police spokesman, said, "I'm proud of our fire department, because you see there are two homes on each side of it, so I think they did a great job of containing the fire. We feel confident right now that this was an arson case, and we have our suspect in custody."


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