WASHINGTON TWP., N.J. (WPVI) -- Police say two women set a fire in Washington Township, New Jersey, on Thursday night after what was apparently an unsuccessful attempt to kidnap a small child.
Thirty-two-year-old Lynette McGuire and 33-year-old Denise Coyle, cousins from Bensalem, Pennsylvania, are charged with aggravated arson, attempted kidnapping and burglary.
Prosecutors say the women tried to abduct McGuire's 3-year-old daughter from the child's grandparents' home in the 800 block of Lafayette Court, where the girl was staying with three of her siblings.
Homeowner Brian McGuire tells us the conflict started when Child Protective Services awarded him and his wife custody of his daughters' four children, ages 3 to 14.
"The grandparents had custody of the four children due to allegations of abuse by the mother and father of the four children," said Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton.
Dalton said McGuire and Doyle started the fire as a pretext to run into the house, tell everyone there was a fire and then grab the four children.
"I looked out and it was my daughter saying 'get my kids out of the house. I want my kids out of the house,' " Brian McGuire said.
After the fire started, everyone ran outside and it was Doyle who allegedly grabbed the 3-year-old.
The pair put the child in a car and took off. However, they were stopped by Washington Township police officers a short time later. The child was not harmed.
Brian McGuire says his daughter moved to New Jersey about 18 months ago.
"My daughter came up from Florida and, since that, it has been hell on Earth," he said.
According to McGuire, he and his wife purchased the home in July of 2014 with cash but, with court proceedings over the grandkids, they never purchased insurance.
When asked what he would say to his daughter now, he answered, "Nothing. Nothing at all."
McGuire and Coyle are now charged with kidnapping, aggravated arson and burglary.
While the family has not asked for anything, the community is coming together to bring gift cards for kids' clothes and other basic necessities.
They will likely now need help rebuilding their home.
If you would like to help, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.