Mother, 5 children killed in Michigan motel fire

Five children and their mother have died in a huge motel fire in Michigan, according to the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office.

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The woman was identified as 26-year-old Kiarre Samuel. Robert Boyce, of the Berrien County Sheriff’s Office, said five of Samuel’s children, ages 2 to 10 years old, also died in the fire.

Boyce said Samuel’s husband and another child survived. They were all staying in the same room.

Boyce said the tragedy "tears at your heart," WLKY reported.

Four others and four first responders were also hurt in the fire at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel, about two hours southwest of Lansing.

The fire started just before 2 a.m. Saturday when 27 rooms were occupied, WOOD reported.

Credit: Michael Caterina

Credit: Michael Caterina

Leroy Johnson, who lived at the motel, told WSBT the fire might have started inside his room.

"As I woke up, my bed was on fire. I said, 'Oh my God.' I got my sheets and wet them and I tried to throw them on the bed and as I throw it on the bed it didn't work," Johnson told WSBT. "So I asked the person above me for some salt. As I throw salt on there I hurry and jump out and once I jump out, the whole room exploded."

Investigators told WOOD the entire building is damaged. The fire marshal is joining the sheriff's office to investigate what started the fire.

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