1 dead, 5 hurt, including kids, in morning house fire

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Van Buren Township —One person perished and five others, including several children, are hospitalized with various injuries suffered in an early morning house fire Sunday on Denton Road.

Several area fire departments responded to the fire in the 47000 block of Denton, near Interstate 94 and Rawsonville, about 4 a.m., according to neighbor, Jodi Buchenberger, who woke up to a six-year-old girl pounding on their door screaming 'Help me! Save me!'"

“The girl's house was in flames and her older sister was somehow able to get out of the house and was walking around in shock,” said Buchenberger. “She said 'My babies are in there.' She was babysitting for the girl, her teenage brother and some relatives.”

The children were aged from a two-month-old baby to the 14-year-old brother, she said.

The babysitter, who is in her 30s and another adult, a girlfriend, were also in the house, Buchenberger said.

She said the girlfriend jumped out a second floor window with a baby wrapped in a blanket.

She described a chaotic, horrific scene with the fleeing victims covered with black soot from the burning house. “My father went to the front door but the flames were too hot to get inside and he yelled at people inside to ' go to the door, go to the light'” said Buchenberger, who thought she heard people crying and shouting inside.

Buchenberger said the family has lived at the Denton address for about four years and that her daughter was close friends with the girl who came to their house seeking help.

It was unclear what started the blaze. Fire and police officials were either unavailable or would not comment Sunday. The matter, including the cause of the fire, is believed still under investigation.

Lloyd Jackson, a spokesman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, confirmed that a body had been removed from the house. He said an autopsy would be conducted Monday to determine the identity of the deceased and cause of death.

Huron Valley Ambulance spokesperson Joyce Williams said three of the children were listed in critical condition and one child in stable condition at U-M Children's Hospital in Ann Arbor. At least one of the two female adults was reportedly in stable condition at U-M Hospital, she said.

Williams said five ambulances and a paramedic supervisor were sent to the fire, along with fire departments from Van Buren Township, Sumpter Township and Belleville.

mmartindale@detroitnews.com

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