GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – A neighbor spoke to Local 4 and described what he saw during a house fire that killed two boys -- fourth- and fifth-grade elementary school students -- in Grosse Pointe.
Firefighters are still investigating the cause of the fire. They said the flames were too intense, and the boys weren't able to get out.
"I was sound asleep and I hear all this breaking glass and screaming," a neighbor said.
The fire happened Monday morning at a home on Fisher Road between Kercheval and Mack avenues, according to authorities.
One firefighter said it looked like the boys couldn't get past the flames or the heavy smoke, so they ran upstairs. Officials believe they called their mother, who returned to the home but couldn't get inside.
A resident across the street was emotional while describing what he and his wife saw.
"I'm hearing the yelling and screaming of mom and I'm running out the door," he said. "Some guy broke open the windows and these huge flames came roaring up. The kids were up in the bedroom above the garage, and they were trapped up there."
Neighbors and strangers rushed to the house, trying to break in and get to the boys, officials said.
"Some guy in a pickup truck just stopped in the middle of the street and ... tried to help," the neighbor said. "The first responders were here within a minute or two. They suited up. They went in, but there's nothing they could do. It was an intense fire."
Investigators are looking at the kitchen as the possible origin of the fire. The children hadn't left for school yet because Richard Elementary had a late start Monday.
"If it had it been any other day they would've been out the door and maybe it would have been a worse loss of a house, but not this," another neighbor said.
Many parents whose children play soccer and hockey with the boys said they're trying to figure out how to explain what happened.
Police aren't releasing the identities of the children yet. An email with their names went out to some in the Grosse Pointe Public Schools district, but Local 4 won't release the names until police do so.