The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

May 15, 2013

House fire results in child neglect charges

By Wendy Holdren
Register-Herald Reporter

BECKLEY — A Beckley woman is facing child neglect charges after one of her children started a fire inside her Grove Street house Saturday, according to the Beckley Police Department.

Beckley Fire Department officials reported that a child had started the fire with a plastic spatula in the oven, which was then carried into the bedroom. After noting the “deplorable conditions” of the home, Beckley Police were contacted.

Lt. J.C. McPeake said the five children, ages 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6, were dirty and barefooted, and the house was littered with trash, dirty clothes, insects and dog feces.

The mother, Deborah Gina Burger, 25, is now facing five counts of gross child neglect with a risk of serious bodily injury.

Child Protective Services were notified and alternative living arrangements were being sought, according to McPeake. He said the father has a domestic violence petition against him and is not allowed to be around the children.

Burger was arrested and is being held at Southern Regional Jail in lieu of a $50,000 bond.