Memorial grows for two children killed in house fire

NOW: Memorial grows for two children killed in house fire

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. --- A Benton Harbor family on nine was woken up flames tearing through their home early Thursday morning. Four children and three adults managed to escape before crews got there.

“As they were arriving and started to work towards putting it out, they were told there are still people trapped inside,” says Michael Clark, Benton Harbor Public Service Director.

Two children, just three and four years old, weren’t so lucky.

“They didn’t make it, they didn’t make it out,” Clark says.

It’s a tragic loss for the big family and neighbors who live on their street.

“There was a few more kids,” Clark remembers. “A 12-year-old I think, a couple that went to one of the local schools.”

“They had a big family,” shares Sue, a neighbor who lives down the street. “You always heard them out here laughing and playing, the parents would be sitting out here watching them, they looked like they had a lot of fun.”

Sue heard the parents calling out desperately for help to save their little ones who couldn’t get out themselves.

“They fought hard to get up there and get those kids, they just couldn’t,” Sue says. “They tried.”

Now a memorial for the two young lives lost continues to grow on the front doorsteps. Those bringing stuffed animals and flowers say they know it’s not much, but they want to show their support for the survivors as they work to cope and heal.

“Just a little something, just to say we care,” says Sue, as one of the neighbors who stopped by with stuffed animals and balloons. “I don’t know if they’ll come back here, but if they do, I hope they see this. Maybe it gives them a little something.”

The Deputy Public Safety Director says the State Fire Marshal’s office is investigating what sparked the blaze, and they’re asking for the public’s help. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-342-STOP.

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