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April 24, 2014 at 5:13 PM

Puyallup mom credited with saving son from fire suspected of arson

A Puyallup woman firefighters called “Superwoman” for rescuing her son before an explosion destroyed their home on April 1 has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree arson, according to the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Melinda Kay Sayers said that she and her 2-year-old son, Eli, became trapped in her bedroom after she saw smoke. She said she threw her son out of the window, then jumped out before an explosion.

The fire and explosion was caused by a leaking oxygen tank, the sheriff’s department said after the fire. However, detectives found  evidence indicating at the scene indicated the fire was not an accident, the department said.

Sayers’ 11-month-old daughter, Abigail, who was hospitalized at the time of the fire, died the next day.

Abigail was born at 24 weeks and spent most of her life at Seattle Children’s hospital. She was scheduled to go home April 1, but had seizures that night and returned to the intensive-care unit.

Sayers said she started the fire “because she had too much going on and wanted her daughter to stay in the hospital,” sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said in a news release. She is in custody at the Pierce County Corrections Center.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: arson, Pierce County Sheriff's Department, Puyallup

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