CROWN POINT — A mother faces charges after her 4-year-old son allegedly started a fire while home alone in Gary.

Quiana McGowan, 23, was charged Wednesday in Lake Criminal Court with neglect of a dependent on allegations she left the child unsupervised at the family's home in the 1800 block of East 19th Court in Gary, according to a probable cause affidavit.

The fire was reported 2:20 p.m. Dec. 13.

The 4-year-old boy was transported to Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus, but did not suffer any injuries, the affidavit states.

The boy told police he started a garbage bag on fire with a lighter he found on a bedroom dresser. The boy's mother said she left the child at the home unsupervised while she walked to a grocery store.

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The boy fled the home after he started the fire, the affidavit states. A man brought the boy, who smelled like smoke, into his vehicle after he saw him running west on 21st Avenue near Martin Luther King Drive.

The man drove the child back to the Dorie Miller Housing Complex, where they found McGowan. The three of them returned to the mother's home, which was on fire.

The boy and his brother were taken into custody by child welfare workers, the affidavit states.

A spokesman for the Lake County Sheriff's Office said Thursday that McGowan remained wanted on a warrant.

Her surety bond is $20,000.

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Lake County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Steve covers Lake County courts and social justice issues for The Times. The UW-Milwaukee graduate joined The Times in 2016 after reporting on criminal justice in New Mexico and Wisconsin.