2 dead, 5 injured, 1 missing after fire rages through Pontiac home

Charles E. Ramirez
The Detroit News

Pontiac — As flames coursed through a two-story home early Monday, the residents faced a harrowing scene and life-changing decision, authorities say.

A 36-year-old resident told Oakland County Sheriff's deputies he instructed his 19-year-old stepson, who has autism, to jump from their second-story window, but the teen refused.

The stepfather leapt to safety. His stepson remained unaccounted for hours after the blaze at the multi-family home that left two men dead and five people injured, investigators said.

The cause remained undetermined Monday night, and the Sheriff's Office said they were awaiting autopsies and identifications of the victims. 

Firefighters and sheriff's deputies were called at about 2:45 a.m. to a home in the 800 block of St. Clair Street near West Kennett and Baldwin in the city of Pontiac, they said. 

First-responders found the building engulfed in flames when they arrived.

Two men died and five other people were injured in a fire early Monday at this multi-family dwelling in Pontiac, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office said.

After the fire was extinguished, officials found a man's body in the kitchen on the first floor and another man's body in a second-floor bedroom, authorities said. Neither has been identified.

Two of the home's occupants, men ages 67 and 68, were taken to a hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.  Another occupant of the home, a 58-year-old Pontiac man, broke his leg during his escape.

Officials said the injuries of other occupants are still being assessed, but none appear to be life-threatening.

The charred home in the 800 block of St. Clair Street near West Kennett and Baldwin in Pontiac that caught fire early Monday, January 17, 2022.

Authorities said the 19-year-old man with autism whose stepfather escaped was not seen leaving the building.

They said a fire investigator with the Sheriff’s Office is working to determine the cause of the blaze.

The other occupants in the home were accounted for, officials said.


Twitter: @CharlesERamirez