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Mom praised with saving son from explosion admits she set the fire

Mom Praised with Rescuing Son from Explosion Accused of Setting Fire

A Puyallup mom who firefighters called a 'Superwoman' for saving her son from a house explosion earlier this month has been arrested for allegedly setting the fire, Q13 FOX reports.

Pierce County sheriff's spokesman Ed Troyer said Thursday that Melinda 'Mindie' Sayers confessed to the crime during an interview with detectives, and she was arrested.

Sayers has a court appearance Friday on a charge of first-degree arson.

Her story tugged at many hearts, leading to thousand of dollars in public donations to her and her family.

But the Pierce County Sheriff's Department said the community, the media and even investigators were duped by Sayers.

Earlier this month, Sayers described how she and her 2-year-old son escaped from a fire just seconds before oxygen tanks exploded in their home.

"This window right here, I opened it up, kicked the screen out, put him out, threw my cell phone and jumped out the window. Two seconds later, there was a huge explosion," Sayers said of the April 1 explosion.

She said a leaking oxygen tank caused the fire, ruining most of their belonging,s including the nursery set up for their baby girl Abigail, who was born three months premature and hospitalized with a severe brain injury.

"Now we have nowhere to live. We have nothing for her (Abigail when she is released from hospital). You know, it's really hard," Sayers said.

Troyer said that wasn't true.

"She did admit that she started the fire by lighting a candle and opening up the oxygen and lighting the furniture on fire, which fueled it really quickly," Troyer said.

The oxygen tanks were set up for Abigail. After months at the hospital, Abigail was scheduled to come home but police say the mother was overwhelmed.

"The reason that she gives is that she was busy, did not have time, or the desire, to take care of the kid," Troyer said. "When you eliminate the place where your child is going to go, you eliminate the problem."

But the baby never made it home. Shortly after the fire, Abigail died at the hospital. The family's heart-wrenching situation had people opening up their wallets. One fundraising website had already raised more than $32,000 for the family.

Troyer said that money will be seized as they continue to investigate the defendant's past.

"Finding out she has a past fraud, and an RN (registered nurse) and never told anybody and she is well versed in medical gear," Troyer said.

In 2013 the nursing commission charged Sayers with unprofessional conduct. She was accused of falsifying patient records and filling prescriptions for herself without a physician's approval.

Investigators say Sayers' husband, Chris Sayer,s had no involvement in case.

Family members told Q13 FOX News on Thursday that they are standing behind the defendant and don't believe she set the fire.

Check out the original video here:

Mom Called 'Superwoman' After Saving Son Seconds Before Explosion

Join the discussion

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Kim Strum April 25 2014 at 11:49 AM

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the police are going to 'seize' the donations? Sees like it could be returned - or something! (put it in an interest bearing acct in the little boy' s name with the court appointing a disinterested party to manage it - or donate it to the hospital where the little girl died)

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3 replies
WESLEY April 25 2014 at 5:53 PM

You do the chrime, you do the time, which she has now.

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kleind862 April 25 2014 at 6:18 PM

lock her up and throw away the key.

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1 reply
mbmtebb kleind862 April 25 2014 at 8:41 PM

She needs mental health treatment in an institution.

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alspoolhall April 25 2014 at 6:45 PM

The baby girl, Abigail, died while still in the hospital, so sad. Heaven does exists for sure for little kids and babies if not for all. Melinda "Mindie" you're a really scary person and should not ever be trusted alone with a child/children. You endangered your little boy by causing a fire and have a previous fraud on the record! Husband, family and friends please keep an eye on her shenanigans.

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sedunning April 25 2014 at 1:45 PM

pathological liars have no shame or remorse because they don't really even know they are lying most of the time. They make up stories glorifying themselves, covering up shortcomings, getting others in trouble. We had one in our family, caused many of SO much trouble. Most of us figured her out quickly, but a few, including her husband, believed every word she said, no matter how far fetched it was. Sad.

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1 reply
shindogdiggity88 sedunning April 25 2014 at 2:08 PM

I used to have a friend (of 7 years) who was like that, and one night at Walmart he stole nearly 100 bucks out of my girlfriends purse when he took off with our cart while we were checking out.
So we contacted police, had them go over the security footage which clearly showed him stealing the money, and he STILL denied doing it.

Needless to say, we aren't friends anymore.

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hotman506 April 25 2014 at 6:47 PM

Death Penalty!!!!

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ajafullmn April 25 2014 at 1:35 PM

My cell phone would not be the second thing I tried to save. I'd be thinking about important papers.

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kay April 25 2014 at 12:56 PM

Why would family members NOT believe she set the fire when she says she set the fire???

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1 reply
cgssnavickas kay April 25 2014 at 1:17 PM

It's called "denial."

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Jo April 25 2014 at 1:27 PM

So sad the baby girl died but it may be a blessing. I doubt the mother would have been able to properly care for her.

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2 replies
silentmelody2010 Jo April 25 2014 at 1:45 PM

Where does it say the baby died? Or is that on another news feed? If you are going off this story she only saved the son it is because the little girl hadn't come home yet.
"The oxygen tanks were set up for Abigail. After months at the hospital, Abigail was scheduled to come home but police say the mother was overwhelmed."
Thank god the baby girl wasn't home yet I fear she would have "not been able" to save her.

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5 replies
silentmelody2010 Jo April 25 2014 at 1:49 PM

Not seeing my reply under here but if it does show up scratch that - somehow missed that part about the baby girl.

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David S. April 25 2014 at 7:28 PM

Munchausen syndrome? All due respect to nurses, but some of them like to bethe rescuer......just most of them don't put their own child at risk!

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1 reply
Don Murphy David S. May 06 2014 at 3:23 AM

This story has nothing to do with Munchausen syndrome in case that escaped you.

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