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3 kids dead after Paulding County woman attempts to stab them inside burning home, sheriff says

Some of the children jumped out of a second-story window to escape according to neighbors.

ATLANTA — Editors note:  Investigators reported Sunday morning that a fourth child had died, but later corrected themselves to say the fourth child remains in critical condition. This story was updated to reflect the new information.

Three children have died, and a mother is charged with murder after a house fire in Paulding County, according to the sheriff's office. 

Deputies said they received a call about a domestic disturbance and a house fire on Woodwind Drive around 9:20 p.m. on Friday.

They said that a woman was inside the home attempting to stab the kids inside at the time of the call. The home was on fire at the same time.

Firefighters and deputies arrived to put the fire out and rescue anyone inside. They said there were seven kids inside, two were found dead: a 3 year old with multiple stab wounds, and a 9 month old. 

Deputies said three other kids, ages 5, 9 and 11 were taken to the hospital where the 5 year old died. The two older kids, 14 and 16 were not hurt. 

Neighbors said that some of the children jumped out of a second-story window to escape.

Edward Springer, who lives across the street, said the family lived there for years with no problems, adding "they stayed to their self, kids come outside to play - (they were) very good, very respectful. I just don’t understand it, I don’t understand it.”

Meanwhile, the woman described on the initial call - Darlene Brister - was located on the property and taken into custody. The sheriff's office said that she is in the Paulding County Detention Center and is being charged with two counts of malice murder. She is being held with no bond and the sheriff's office said additional charges are likely.

Credit: Paulding County Sheriff

She was denied bond on Monday -- appearing in court virtually. 

The Paulding County Sheriff's Office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation are leading the investigation.

This is a developing story. Check back often for new information.

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