14-year-old charged in fire death of his mother - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

14-year-old charged in fire death of his mother

(WMC-TV) - The 14-year-old son of the woman who died in a house fire Friday morning is charged with intentionally setting the fire.

Just after 6 a.m., fire crews responded to the home of Gwendolyn Wallace on the 4700 block of Bethay Drive.

When they arrived, the staircase had already been torched, trapping Wallace upstairs. She died on the scene.

Early reports indicated that Wallace's husband had already left for work and that her son had gone for a walk.

Investigators say evidence from the fire suggests it was intentionally set and Wallace's 14-year-old son was questioned in connection with the arson.

He admitted to detectives that he set the fire after a disagreement with his mother.

The teen is charged with first degree murder and aggravated arson.

Neighbors say they did everything they could to save Wallace.

"Got out of my truck, ran up the drive and I could see fire at the front door," explained Derek Graham, who lives nearby. "Here was fire on the staircase so I started begging and screaming, begging and screaming."

Derek Graham got the attention of many of the neighbors.

He says they started grabbing bricks and throwing them at the windows, trying to rescue their 45-year-old neighbor.

Fire officials say Gwendolyn Wallace died at the top of the stairs.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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