Mom jailed on murder charge after fatal fire
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado ” A woman was arrested on suspicion of murder Tuesday after a fire at her home killed her 16-month-old daughter and critically injured her four other children.
Maria Darlene Joseph, 25, will likely face other charges as well, police Lt. Skip Arms said.
Ashia M. Joseph died from smoke inhalation and burns in the Monday night fire, the El Paso County coroner said.
The other four children were taken to The Children’s Hospital in the Denver suburb of Aurora, but their names and details of the injuries were not released. Police said the children were a 3-year-old girl and boys ages 5, 8 and 9.
Someone inside the house called 911 to report the fire at about 10 p.m. Monday, Arms said. When police arrived, the house was filled with smoke but there was no fire, he said. The cause was still under investigation.
Maria Joseph was found about a block away. She was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and was arrested after her release from a hospital.
Police said she also uses the name Maria Darlene Gardner.
Authorities said the children’s father, Simeon Joseph, committed suicide at the house in October by shooting himself.