Babysitter 'hero' charged with arson

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Indianapolis - A 14-year-old boy who originally claimed to have saved three younger children from a house fire is now being charged with arson.

Arson investigators with the Indianapolis Fire and Indianapolis Metro Police Departments brought charges against the teen on Thursday.

The fire occurred on March 20th at 718 Cottage Avenue.  The boy faces three counts of class A felony arson and one count of class B felony arson.

The teen initially told investigators that the fire started while he was sleeping, and that he woke up and tried to save the younger boys he was babysitting.

But arson investigators say that's not what happened. They believe that the teen started the fire, then left the house when the fire got out of control. Heavy fire was showing when firefighters arrived at the home at around 6:00 am that morning.

Firefighters went into the burning home and rescued seven-year-old Brenton Holiday. His two brothers were already out of the house by that time.

Police say the three young victims spent weeks in critical condition at Riley Hospital, while the suspect was treated and released from the hospital the next day. Police believe the teen was babysitting the boys while their father was at work. Their father left for work at 5:00 am.

Charges were filed and a warrant was issued for the juvenile on Monday, May 17th, 2010. He was arrested on Wednesday on an unrelated incident .

The house was considered a total loss, with damage to the house is about $65,000. The house to east was damaged as well due to the heavy volume of fire and suffered about $10,000 damage.

Rich Holliday, the father of the three boys, arrived on the scene after being contacted at his job in Plainfield. He told police he left the house at 5:00 am and has no idea what could have started the fire. He stated that there was no gas to the house and that they were using space heaters, but that the space heaters were turned off.

The family lost everything in the fire. People wanting to donate clothing, household items, food or furniture can make donations to the Cottage Street Full Gospel Church at 840 Cottage. The church is collecting and accepting donations for Rich Holliday and his three young sons rescued from the fire.

Note: This story has been updated from its original version to reflect that the teen has been charged.