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Bereaved Mother Torches Home

November 23, 2007 permalink

Shirley Hart lost her children to CPS in North Carolina, then set fire to her home. Police sent her to a psychiatrist. Instead of her children, she will get a few bottles of pills.



Woman Arrested In Morning Apartment Fire

Thursday, Nov 22, 2007 - 06:00 PM Updated: 08:00 PM

burned duplex
Photo By: NBC17

By Carolyn Costello, NBC17 Weekend Anchor, Reporter, WNCN-TV

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Police said a woman in Raleigh set her duplex on fire Thursday morning to retaliate against child protective services for taking her children.

Just after 7:30 this morning fire broke out at an apartment complex on Baker's Grove Way. Police took Shirley Heart into custody and said she is getting psychiatric help.

The fire damaged her neighbor's adjoining duplex as well leaving that woman without a home on Thanksgiving Day.

Tammie Goodson woke up this Thanksgiving morning to a roaring fire. Police said her neighbor, Shirley Heart, torched her own duplex, destroying it and damaging Goodson's.

"Everybody in there was asleep. If the neighbors across the street had not banged on that door and let us know we'd have burned up in there," Goodson said.

Goodson said she had complained about Heart before. She called Child Protective Services who then came and took Heart's children.

Neighbors told police heart had threatened to burn down her home and other homes in the area if authorities took her kids. Police said it appears that's just what she did.

Police took Heart into custody Thursday morning and no charges have been filed.

"She's being evaluated at this point in a medical facility. Charges will depend on the outcome of the medical evaluation and in consulting with the DA's office," said Captain Mike Reynolds of the Raleigh Police Department.

Goodson said her neighbor hasn't been right lately. She said Heart has been up in the middle of the night, waking her kids by yelling and praying.

"She had them up at 3:00 in the morning just praising the Lord," Goodson said.

"Between the landlord and me calling the police no one seemed to listen to me and do anything. What are we left to do now?" Good said.

Source: WNCN - NBC17