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Only on News10NBC: Statements from mother who set fire that killed her children

Posted at: 02/11/2013 4:33 PM
Updated at: 02/11/2013 5:26 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

News10NBC is learning new details about the mother who pleaded guilty to starting a fire that killed her four children.

Gage Reavey and Greg, Kandee and Kaiden Kugler died when their house on Grape Street caught fire last February. Their own mother, 31-year-old Bobbie Kugler, later admitted that while she was high and drunk, she lit pictures of her ex-boyfriend on fire and threw them on a dresser to burn.

For the first time, News10NBC is hearing those statements she made to  investigators and it's a story you'll only see on News10NBC and www.whec.com

News10NBC filled the paperwork to get these recordings the day after Kugler was sentenced to prison. That was last month and News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri spent hours listening to them.

Kugler has never been accused of intentionally killing her children. In the recordings, you can hear the pain of losing them in her voice throughout the interview. There are hours and hours of recordings. In the recordings, Kugler finally admits to causing the fire in her home that killed her children.

Bobbie Kugler said, “The hardest thing in the world was seeing the house and seeing fire everywhere.”

Bobbie Kugler had no problem telling two Rochester Police Department investigators what happened when firefighters came to her home that February morning.

Kugler said, “The firemen came into my house and said my house was on fire. And I told them that my kids were upstairs, and they wouldn't let me go upstairs. I looked around and  I couldn't really see anything it was like black in my house and I stood up and I started choking and at that point, I heard the fire alarms going off. I was in my room and I heard him say, 'your house is on fire, you have to get out.' I get up and he went to grab me and I was like, 'my baby is right here'. I picked him up, and then I tried going to the steps, but he made me go outside.”

Kugler and her two-year-old were rescued by firefighters, while four of Kugler's children and two of their friends were trapped upstairs.  The two friends were able to escape the fire by jumping out the second floor window. At first, Kugler tried to blame the fire on her friend who was staying at the house.

Kugler said, “When I went outside and seen my bedroom window's on fire and a saw the front windows on fire that's when I started panicking cause the kids were in that house and I wanted to get (inaudible) cause I know that they were scared.  I don't know how everyone else in the house got out, but my kids didn't. How did James get out? How did he get out and my kids didn't? How did he have his sneakers on and cell phone charger and my kids are dead?"

After two hours of questioning, investigators got Kugler to admit she was drunk, high on cocaine and had taken pills. Kugler finally tells investigators she was mad at her ex-boyfriend and lit his pictures on fire.

Kugler said, “I left it on the dresser and I laid down.”

Investigator said, “Did you watch it?”

Kugler said, “ No, I didn't watch it. I was drunk so I meant to lay down for a second. Okay because I had just took those stupid pills. I took more than I was suppose to that night too cause they just don't work. I took two Ativan pills and two more Ambien pills cause they don't work for me and I laid down. I only meant to lay down for a second and I woke up to the firemen coming in there.”

After a plea deal, Kugler was sentenced to  7 to 15 years behind bars for the deaths of her four children. News10NBC is still listening to the hours of recordings. We will bring you more of Kugler's confession and conversations with investigators Tuesday.