2 kids die, 2 injured in Detroit fire; mom jumps from window

Midwest

An early morning fire on Helen Street on Detroit’s east side left two children dead on Friday, Dec. 25, 2020. Two other children were badly injured, while a woman holding another child escaped with minor injuries. (Mandi Wright via Imagn Content Services, LLC/Reuters)

DETROIT (AP) — A mother escaped a Christmas morning fire by jumping from a second-floor window holding her 3-year-old child in her arms, but her 4-year-old and 6-year-old did not make it out alive from their home on Detroit’s east side, fire department officials said.

Two other children from the same family who survived, an 8-year-old and 10-year-old, were badly burned.

The Detroit Fire Department said the two children who died were found in the front living room of the two-story house.

“It’s definitely a Christmas tragedy,” said David Fornell, a deputy fire commissioner. “Just horrible.”

The 8-year-old and the 10-year-old suffered third-degree burns and were in critical condition at a hospital burn unit. Fornell said later Friday that the two appear to have escaped from the first floor, the Detroit Free Press reported. Earlier reports cited officials saying they may also have jumped from the upper floor.

Fornell said the mother and the 3-year-old were hospitalized but were not seriously injured physically. He also confirmed that the woman was the mother of all five children.

Firefighters responded to a call that came in at just before 9 a.m. on Christmas Day.

A cause of the fire has not been determined.

“It could have been electrical, Christmas tree or kids playing with matches, but it’s not suspicious,” Fornell said.

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