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Family counting blessings after estranged boyfriend allegedly tries to burn down home

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) — The family burned out of their home when a woman’s estranged boyfriend allegedly set their home ablaze is counting their blessings.

“I’m just blessed that they’re here… Everything else doesn’t matter,” the 52-year-old mother of the three children who escaped unharmed Wednesday told CBS 6 News senior reporter Wayne Covil.

CBS 6 News is not identifying the family since they are the victims of a crime.

The woman said she is grateful her children managed to get out of the home the family had only been renting for the past month.

Firefighters, who were called to the home in southern Chesterfield County Wednesday morning, found heavy smoke and fire when they arrived.

They quickly discovered that the three children, ages 11, 14 and 17 who  inside the home when the fire started, saw exactly what had happened.

The children told police that 47-year-old William Jones III, their mom’s estranged boyfriend, kicked in the door and threw a lit device that investigators said likely contained an accelerant that helped the fire spread.

Jones, who was arrested a few hours later by the Petersburg Fire Marshal’s Office, is being held without bond.

The three children, who are dealing with losing everything, are also coming to grips with exactly what happened.

“I’m just thankful my brother and sister were awake to get me out of the house. They really, you know, saved me. So yea, I’m ok,” the 17-year-old said as her voice cracked.

The children’s mother said it will be a tough Christmas for the family since they lost virtually everything in the fire.

“For Christmas, I’m just glad I got my family with me, so it’s ok,” the 17-year-old said.

RELATED: ‘Dangerous’ arson suspect arrested had criminal past

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