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Former Cosmo Motel resident remembers family killed in motel fire

SODUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Kristina Phillips was a resident of almost 2 years at the now-condemned Cosmo Extended Stay Motel.

She said this tragedy really hit home for her because she’s a mother herself.

“Cherish your life while you got it, especially your babies. You’re never supposed to bury your babies,” said Phillips.

Earlier, Phillips lit the candles at the growing memorial filled with teddy bears for the mother and her five children who died in last Saturday’s fire.

She says she had to light the candles.

“I noticed they were out,” said Phillips.

Phillips lived inside a room at the motel.

She saw the flames from her balcony the night of the fire.

“I grabbed my dog, I grabbed my phone, I started banging on doors, and came down. I came out the main door, because my room was right there,” said Phillips. “The stairs came down right there; that was the quickest way. Which I wish I would’ve [the other] way, I could’ve knocked on more doors.”

Before the fire, Phillips says she got know the mother, Kiarre Curtis, along with the five little kids who lost their lives, and the little baby that survived.

“I had got to know them in the months they were here. I had learned that they actually were displaced by a house fire and that’s why they were here,” said Phillips.

Phillips said the kids were well behaved and spent their days playing outside.

“They would throw rocks in the little puddle all the time with the other little kids that lived here,” said Phillips. "It was, I don’t know, it was hard to watch that go down in front of my face.”

Phillips stops at the memorial at the motel every time she comes back.

It’s her way of paying her respects.

There’s also a reason why the memorial sits right by a tree near the motel.

“That’s where they brought the bodies out, and laid them and tried to resuscitate them. It was right there,” said Phillips. “I’ve had grown people die in front of me, but to watch babies being carried out with the black smoke still rolling out their lungs, it’s hard. It was hard, I don’t think I’ll ever get over that.”

Now, after everything she’s been through, Phillips is just trying to rebuild her life, being reminded of the father and the surviving child.

“This man now has to raise his only child without the rest of his family now,” said Phillips.

Phillips lost her job after the fire.

The good news is she is now employed part time. She had another interview scheduled for Friday afternoon.

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