A young family perished in a massive Michigan hotel fire in the wee hours of Saturday morning, CBS News reports. The Berrien County Sheriff’s Department is currently investigating what led to the blaze, as well as the fire marshall.
Reports said that the emergency call came at 1:45 a.m.
The 26-year-old mother and her five children died in the blaze at the Cosmo Extended Stay Motel according to sheriff’s office.
Leroy Johnson, who also lives in the hotel, claims that the fire may have started in his room.
“As I woke up my bed was on fire.” Johnson said to WSBT. “I said ‘Oh my God.’ I got my sheets and wet them and tried to throw them on the bed and as I throw it on the bed it didn’t work. 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.”
There were 27 rooms filled at the hotel at the time of the fire and everyone staying there was affected. The blaze reportedly destroyed 90 percent of the premises and the motel currently stands empty.
“Police say almost all the rooms have either fire, smoke, or water damage,” ABC 57 News reported at 4:51 a.m. “Twenty seven of the rooms were occupied with residents, but officials aren’t sure how many people were in the motel at the time of the fire.”
The crews were still working to put out the fire at the time the extent of the damage was detailed.
Fox News reports that the victims are 26-year-old Kiarre Samuel, 10-year-old Marquise Thompson, 7-year-old Gerome Randolph, 5-year-old Samuel Curtis, 4-year-old Savod Curtis, and 2-year-old Avery Curtis. Eight other people were brought to the hospital to undergo treatment for smoke inhalation but have since been discharged.
The Red Cross has created a shelter for residents who were driven from their homes by the blaze and are working to provide them with a home and some comfort until they can be relocated.
The sheriff’s office said in a statement, “The Berrien County Sheriff’s Office extends thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of the victims of this tragic accident,” according to ABC News.
The ties between victims were not specified at the time, but it was later revealed that they were all related. These tragic deaths are especially haunting because they were all so young.