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Mother Charged With Murder in Fire That Killed Her Six Children

July 15, 1992

BALTIMORE (AP) _ The mother of six children who died last week in a rowhouse fire was charged with murder and arson.

Tonya Lucas, 28, was charged Tuesday with six counts of murder, one count of arson and one count of child abuse.

She was being held Tuesday pending a bail hearing today.

The children, ages 2 months to 12 years, died July 7 in an upstairs bedroom of the two-story home.

The state medical examiner said victims died from smoke and soot inhalation; an autopsy showed that a 1-year-old boy had suffered from chronic abuse and neglect.

Ms. Lucas and her boyfriend, William Cook, escaped the burning house carrying her 8-year-old son, who survived. A family of four who lived in the basement also escaped.

The fire was set when a flammable liquid was ignited on the first floor, fire officials said. Authorities offered no motive on Tuesday.

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