Dad: Babysitter set house on fire as 'vendetta'

AUSTIN, Texas - An Austin woman babysitting twin 5-year-old boys is accused of setting their father's house on fire.

Martha Carolyn Dreher, 57, is charged with arson. She denies setting the fires, but she admitted to investigators she no longer wanted to work for Glenn Williams or watch his preteen daughters.

Williams was out of town with his daughters on the night of Aug. 9 while Dreher was watching William's 5-year-old twin boys at their mother's house. Dreher told the boys she wanted to stop by William's house to "grab popcorn."

A security camera outside William's home caught Dreher driving up to the house on Aug. 9, where she remained inside for approximately 30 minutes while the twins sat in the car.

When AFD investigators reviewed the surveillance video, they noticed the tell-tale flickering of a fire emanating from William's daughter's bedroom 25 minutes after Dreher went into the house. As the fire escalates, Dreher's car drives off, leaving the property.

A few hours later, William's teenage son came home and noticed the fire damage in both the girl's rooms.

"Someone set my daughter's bedrooms on fire. They could have set the whole house on fire, and they actually closed the doors so the fire was maintained in those rooms and burned itself out. So it was definitely a vendetta against the two girls," said Williams. "Before I left, she had taken the girls clothes shopping, and she said that it was horrible, that my oldest had been very disrespectful to her and she didn't think it was a good match and she probably didn't want to do this anymore."

After interviewing Dreher and reviewing the surveillance video, AFD investigators decided to charge her with arson.

Glenn is now working to rebuild the rooms as crews clean up the mess. He tells KVUE he's just thankful his daughters and twin boys are safe.


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