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Kalamazoo fire kills 3 young children

Updated: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 11:56 AM EST
Kalamazoo fire kills 3 young children story image
KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - The Kalamazoo Fire Marshall is trying to find out what started a deadly fire that took the lives of three young children.

The fire broke out around 2 pm at Interfaith Homes of Kalamazoo.

One apartment was completely destroyed, others were damaged.

Police tell us it's too early to tell if this fire is suspicious.

Right now there are several stories going around about where the mother was when this fire broke out.

Her family has declined to talk to Newschannel 3, but the father's family is outraged by what happened.

"I'm broken, my heart is broken cause my nieces are up in there," said Gloria Morgan, the children's Aunt.

"I'm hurt, this is not a good feeling," said Raven Williams, the children's cousin.

"I'm lost, I can't breathe," said Tamisha Watts, the children's cousin.

Emotions ran high for the family of three young children trapped inside a burning Interfaith apartment.

When fire crews arrived they found the first floor fully engulfed in flames.

"That really hampered the rescue attempts, the fact that the fire was so far advanced that all the stairs had actually burned out. And actually the second floors were collapsing when the firefighters were trying to make entry," said Assistant Chief Brian Uridge with Kalamazoo Public Safety.

Ladders were put up to the second story window to try and rescue the children.

Tragically, they did not survive.

Police would not release where they found the children.

"I'm lost for words, I can't say anything right now but I'm going to cry," said Watts.

Family members tell Newschannel 3 inside were two 3-year-old twins Tevin and Ty'nitha Williams, and their little sister, one-year-old Tyonna Henderson.

"They were just so beautiful, every time I came to visit, people loved to play with them," said Watts.

Police tell us no adult was home with the kids when the fire broke out, and someone could face charges.

"Initially it appears that the kids were inside the apartment alone at the time, again it is still under investigation," said Assistant Chief Uridge.

Also under investigation is the cause of the fire, but the family tells Newschannel 3, the children's mother, Jannetta Jackson may have been cooking on the stove before she left the apartment.

Neighbors say Jackson tried to go in and save her children, and was taken to the hospital with fire injuries.

The children's cousin tells us Jackson has four children and the oldest child survived. When she found out her other three children had perished she fainted.

Also injured, was a firefighter, after the ladder they were on collapsed, but police say they are expected to be okay.

Extra police were called in to manage the crowds after several fights broke out. Newschannel 3 saw one man get arrested.

Police say the fire flared back up again around 8:30 pm, and several firefighters were called back in to squash the flame.

Right now they are making one more walk through to make sure all hot spots are put out.

Police did not know many people were displaced by the fire.

Grace Mercy Luv Ministries is working to gather items for the family since they lost everything. They say there is one surviving child, a girl, and they are looking for items for her.

A Facebook page has been set up to collect the donations.Kalamazoo fire kills 3 young children
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