SPRING HILL — A mother was charged with three counts of child neglect after she left her three young kids at home to go to dinner, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.
Tarsha Hite, 41, left her children, ages 2, 6 and 10, at their home on Bedford Road about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, deputies said, to go to dinner in Clearwater, about 45 minutes south. The 2-year-old turned on the oven, setting fire to the pots inside. The children ran outside and found a neighbor, who called Hernando County Fire Rescue. Hite was not immediately reachable by phone, sheriff's officials said, and once authorities did alert her to the situation, Hite said she didn't intend to come home yet. She ultimately returned about 2½ hours later, deputies said.
Hite was released from Hernando County Jail on Sunday morning after posting $6,000 bail.