Six children killed in Mississippi house fire; mother charged with manslaughter

Sunday, November 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

INDEPENDENCE, Miss. (AP) _ The mother of six children who died in a house fire was charged with manslaughter after authorities say it appeared they had been left home alone.

Tate County District Attorney John Champion said six counts of culpable negligence manslaughter were filed against Christie Rene Greenwood late Saturday after an investigation into the early morning fire.

Authorities said Greenwood, 24, was not at home when the blaze engulfed the house. Champion said another adult had been at the home earlier, but apparently had left before the fire occurred.

The victims were identified as Andria Greenwood and Adrian Greenwood, both 3; Kenel Greenwood, 9; Ricky Crudupt, 7; Myron Greenwood, 5; and LaParis Greenwood, 1.

The fire is still under investigation.

Chris Criswell, chief of the Independence Volunteer Fire Department, said the blaze was out of control and the house was collapsing when firefighters arrived.

``It was on the ground when we got there,'' Criswell said.

He said the cause of the fire appeared to be a wood-burning heater made from a 55-gallon drum.

Greenwood was being held at the Tate County jail. She could face a maximum of 20 years in prison for each count.