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December 11, 2015

Police: Bensalem women set N.J. home ablaze, attempts to kidnap daughter

Mother, cousin allegedly started fire in garage of Washington Township residence

Police in Washington Township, New Jersey, are investigating after two women, a mother and her cousin, attempted to kidnap a 3-year-old girl Thursday night after setting the house where she was living on fire.

According to authorities, 32-year-old Lynette McGuire and 33-year-old Denise Coyle, both of Bensalem, Pa., set fire to a home in Lafayette Court where McGuire's 3-year-old daughter was living with her grandparents and three siblings, 6 ABC reports.

McGuire and Coyle allegedly started a fire in the home's garage before attempting to kidnap the young girl. Investigators say the girl's grandparents and siblings escaped the burning home without sustaining any injuries. McGuire and Coyle were captured by authorities at Route 42 and Fries Mill Road, about a mile from the home.

Officials said it took firefighters about half an hour to contain the blaze, which left the residence significantly damaged. Evidence from the scene has been collected and will be submitted for tests.

Both women have been charged with aggravated arson, attempted kidnapping and burglary, with additional charges pending. They are each being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Temporary housing was secured for the grandparents and children with the help of the Gloucester County American Red Cross.