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Child sets mattress on fire to escape abuse, Pasco Sheriff says

SPRING HILL, Fla. – A Spring Hill couple is arrested after a child set a mattress on fire, prompting deputies to investigate the two adults of child abuse.According to Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco, the investigation started after emergency crews responded to a house fire in Spring Hill, which is close to the Pasco-Hernando county line.As firefighters took down the fire, deputies noticed that some inside the couple’s home were suspicious.Nocco said during Tuesday’s press conference that deputies later found out that a child under 10 years old was “living in a room where no human being should live.”Nocco said prior to the fire, the child was locked in a bedroom with no electricity and no natural light.Deputies say there were a blanket and a mattress that had feces and urine everywhere in that child’s bedroom. Nocco said the child did not have access to games and no television while locked inside the bedroom.“We don’t treat the worst in our society like the way this child lived,” Nocco said.Deputies say the child lived with five other children in the home, ages ranging from infant to 10 years old. Nocco said one of the other children passed the young victim a box of matches under the door. The young victim then used the matches to set the mattress on fire.Deputies then arrested the couple, 36-year-old Kelley Davis and 37-yer-old Daniel Davis, for child abuse.Nocco said the couple told deputies they locked the child in the room because they were misbehaving.Deputies say the children were all homeschooled so they rarely left the home prior to the investigation. The other five children are now being placed in protective custody.

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