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Mother, 3 children killed during overnight blaze

Woman and three children found unresponsive in home
Posted at 6:12 AM, Feb 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-05 15:44:47-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A mother and three of her children died after a house fire early Wednesday morning.

It happened around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday in the 2900 block of Dawes Avenue Southeast in Grand Rapids.

Grand Rapids Fire Chief John Lehman tells FOX 17 the woman and her three children were all found inside the home. None of them were breathing, and firefighters could not find a pulse on any of them.

Lehman says when firefighters arrived they found the fire on the first floor of the home and had to use a ladder to get one person from the second floor. Once the fire was knocked down, crews found the other three in a different part of the second floor.

Firefighters performed life saving measures on all of them. The 35-year-old mother was declared dead at the scene. Her 15-year-old son died at the hospital. The surviving 14-year-old and 10-year-old were taken to the hospital, where they later died.

Grand Rapids Public Schools said one of the children was a student at Sherwood Park Global Studies Academy, one was a former Sherwood student and another was a former C.A. Frost Middle High School student.

"When an unexpected death occurs, there are always several emotions and feelings we can expect to see in our students. They include anger, guilt, confusion, fear, blame, disbelief, and even indifference," the district said in a statement. "These are normal reactions, and students may experience several of them over the weeks to come. We need to give them permission to feel whatever emotion they have and support them as they go through the grieving process. Our crisis team has been made available for staff and students who may need extra support."

Lehman says he does not believe the home had working smoke alarms and that this tragic incident serves as a reminder to always have a working smoke alarm in your home in case of an emergency.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.