Recently evicted tenants accused in house fire that killed 2 kids

Bruno Cirelli
Luglio 19, 2017

The children were ages 8 and 6, according to the probable cause affidavit.

A tenant, Jacob Motz, told investigators he woke up when he heard fire crackling at 2 a.m. Saturday, and looked to see fire coming through the windows from an area near the front porch.

Kimberly Marie Hughes and Jaramy Chism had lived at the home in Mount Vernon until they were evicted just days before the fire.

They said Chism and Hughes deny the accusations, according to the AP.

"She was totally in soot, black all over her face, some bleeding and stuff, her hands were bloody, I think from the glass when she was going out the window", said Eaton.

According to investigators, Starr pushed open a window screen in an attempt to allow them to escape, but apparently fell through. "The children did not make it out". By the time Bachofer and Motz got back downstairs, the house was engulfed in flames. "Everything was on fire and she didn't see or hear the kids any more". The other two adults in the home, including the kids' father, were also injured.

Bachofer and Starr are recovering from "burns and severe lung damage", family friend Tamara Carlson wrote on a GoFundMe appeal for the couple.

Authorities found Chism and Hughes early Saturday in a tent pitched in the backyard of a home in Sedro-Wooley, according to the probable cause statement.

Police searching for the evicted tenants found them sleeping in a tent in the back yard of a home 10 miles away and a gas can was found in their vehicle.

Chism had been working for Bachofer but had been fired about two weeks earlier, according to the affidavit.

They told investigators they had been at the Sedro-Woolley address all night, the statement said.

Hughes was convicted of second-degree arson in 2014, when she said she set her ex-boyfriend's clothes on fire in a laundry basket because he cheated on her, the deputy wrote.

Hughes and Chism are accused of starting a fire in Washington state that left two children dead.


Kimberly Marie Hughes, 32, and Jaramy L. Chism, 24, were being held for investigation of arson and first-degree murder.

Detectives arrested a man and a woman in a suspected arson that killed two young children in Skagit County.

"You have small children involved, it tugs at your heartstrings", Skagit County Prosecutor Rich Weyrich said, according to KCPQ.

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