BURTCHVILLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A fire swept through a St. Clair County home early Tuesday,killing a man and two young children he was trying to rescue evenas neighbors also tried to save them, authorities said. His wifeand a girl escaped.
The 36-year-old man, a 4-year-old boy and an 8-month-old girldied after the two-story home caught fire about 12:30 a.m. inBurtchville Township, about 60 miles northeast of Detroit, SheriffTim Donnellon said.
"He was overcome by smoke in their (the children's) bedroom,"Donnellon said.
His 27-year-old wife escaped from a second-floor window withhelp from a neighbor and a 12-year-old girl who was sleeping on thefirst floor either climbed out a window or escaped through a door,Donnellon said.
Names weren't immediately released, but Donnellon said the man,his wife and three children had been living at the rental home.
Next-door-neighbor Christina Pringle brought a ladder to helpbefore emergency crews arrived.
"There was a ton of black smoke billowing out from the upstairswindow where the lady was," Pringle, 45, told The Associated Pressin a telephone interview. "When we tried to get to the other sideof the house there were flames shooting out."
The sound of screams from the home had awakened Pringle, her sonand her daughter-in-law, Pringle said. After helping the woman fromthe home, Pringle said they tried unsuccessfully to reach the otherchildren.
The house was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crewsarrived. The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known andinvestigators remained at the scene around midday.
The man and woman were asleep in a second-floor bedroom whenthey were awakened by the fire, Donnellon said. The man's body wasfound in a bedroom across the hall where the boy and infant hadbeen sleeping, he said.
Burtchville Township firefighters got the boy and infant out ofthe home shortly after arriving, but they didn't survive, Donnellonsaid.
Pringle said her neighbors had moved into the home earlier thisyear.
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