Mom and Five Children Dead in Michigan Motel Fire
MICHIGAN — July 30, 2018
A mother with her five children died in a massive fire at a motel in Benton Harbor, Michigan. According to the police, it happened in the middle of the night.
The Berrien County Sheriff's office told that the woman Kierra Samuel was 26-year-old and her children - between the ages of two and 10. They have been identified as 10-year-old Marquise Thomas, seven-year-old Jerome Randolph, five-year-old Samuel Curtis, four-year-old Savat Curtis and two-year-old Avery Curtis.
It is unclear what caused the blaze.
In addition, several others were seriously injured that night. One of them, a 2-year-old boy, is in a hospital and is being treated for injuries. Other people were also sent to the hospital.
Twenty-seven motel rooms were occupied at the time of the fire. Police said the entire motel was affected.
One of the people, who believe the fire may have started inside his room, said that somebody allegedly threw a cigarette butt.
"As I woke up, I saw a cigarette butt, but my bed was already 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," said Leroy Johnson, who lived in a hotel. "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 explode flew."
The Berrien County Sheriff's Department is leading an investigation into what caused the blaze and the state fire marshal will also investigate.
A majority of the rooms in the motel are damaged. The American Red Cross is working on finding shelter for the nearly 40 displaced residents.