BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) - Two siblings jumped from a second-story window and an 8-year-old girl was rescued by a firefighter from a blaze inside a Battle Creek residence Thursday morning.
The girl is in critical condition at a Kalamazoo hospital.
The fire began on an enclosed porch at the home on Young Street between Van Buren Street and Michigan Avenue.
Battle Creek Fire Chief Larry Hausman told 24 Hour News 8 the blaze is considered suspicious and might be arson. Investigators said evidence pointed to how quickly the flames spread inside the residence, as well as scene descriptions from witnesses.
Police have two "persons of interest" in the case -- one is in custody on an unrelated charge.
The fire was discovered around 2 a.m. The two older children, 12 and 15 years old, jumped from the window. A passerby saw what was going on.
"He convinced two people to jump," Chief Hausman said. "He caught one of them The other one, he broke the fall. And then he tried to get in the structure to rescue third one but he was pushed back by the heat and smoke."
The firefighters arrived in three minutes and one went inside to rescue the girl, who was in a second floor bedroom.
Neighbors heard explosions coming from the front porch before the fire was discovered.
The victims' mother said she felt comfortable leaving the children alone at the house because one of the teenagers is old enough to take responsibility in caring for the other kids, according to police.
Authorities believe an argument involving the kids' mother may have been a motive for arson.
"Mom ended up coming back to the house and finding the house on fire," said BCPD Lt. Austin Simons.
"We think that there was some kind of domestic situation between the mother and some guy, and we think that the guy may have started the fire,"
No one has yet been arrested.
"We don't know yet which one's the guy, but we have interviewed both of them," Simons said.
The state fire marshal's office is assisting with the investigation.
You are asked to call the Battle Creek Police Department or Silent Observer at 269.964.3888 if you have more information about this incident.
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