Two women from Bensalem have been arrested and charged with aggravated arson- and attempted kidnapping- in connection with the Thursday fire at a home in Washington Township.
Police say Lynette McGuire, 22 and her cousin Denise Coyle, 23, carried out the arson as part of an attempted kidnapping of McGuire's three-year-old daughter. Both McGuire and Coyle have been charged with aggravated arson, attempting kidnapping and burglary, with additional charges pending.
The girl has been living in the home with her grandparents, who have custody. The grandparents and children escaped the home without injury, although the home had extensive damage. The American Red Cross is working to obtain other housing.
"If not for the timely response of the Washington Township Police Department and the Washington Township Fire Department, this incident may have ended quite differently," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said in a statement. "My thanks to all the first responders, along with the Gloucester County Fire Marshal's Office, the ATF and GCPO Arson and Crime Scene units for their assistance."
McGuire and Coyle have both been charged by the GCPO with aggravated arson, attempted kidnapping and burglary and are being held in default of $100,000 bail each. Additional charges are pending.