By Staff

WEBSTER, N.H. (CBS) – A Webster, New Hampshire mom is now being accused of lighting her house on fire while she and her two children were inside.

The fire on Deer Meadow Road in February allegedly started in a second-floor bedroom. Investigators say Mary Corliss originally told them a dog knocked over a candle, but police say they found a lighter under the window where the fire started and believe Corliss tried to blockade herself and children in using a headboard.

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According to an affidavit from the Merrimack County Superior Court, one of Corliss’s children allegedly told an EMT, “When the bad guys broke in, my mom set the fire to protect us.”

Firefighters rescued the 37-year-old woman and her two kids, a 9-year-old girl and a 4-year-old boy.

Police say they found a lighter where the fire started and believe the mother tried to blockade herself and children in using a headboard. (WBZ-TV)

They were treated for smoke inhalation. One of the kids was also treated for burns.

Responding officers, along with the firefighters, reported that Corliss was “acting in a manner that made them think she was in a mental health crisis”.

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While Corliss was being brought to an ambulance, she allegedly hit the officer carrying her. She also said, “My father sold me into slavery!,” “My body is poisoned,” and “You’ll die if you eat me.”

The affidavit states that Corliss admitted to using turpentine to “ward off COVID-19”. She said she used it three times a week since January.  Investigators say members of her family told them she was a follower of QAnon conspiracy theories.

“We discussed the possibility that the turpentine has poisoned her and caused her to believe things that were not real. She admitted that this was possible,” the affidavit said.

Corliss pleaded not guilty to arson, two counts of reckless conduct and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.

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Corliss has been ordered to stay away from her kids. She is free on bail. Staff