Brothers killed in Grosse Pointe house fire: ‘It was just terrible’

Passerby, neighbors tried to help save children

GROSSE POINTE, Mich. – The boys -- 9 and 11 years old -- were home alone Monday morning when they were trapped and killed by a fire in the house on Fisher Road between Kercheval and Mack avenues.

The entire Grosse Pointe community is now left heartbroken.

The boys' mother was running errands, and their father was away at his first day on a job. The boys went to an upstairs room of the home when the fire started. That is where they died.

"I was sound asleep and I hear all this breaking glass and screaming," a neighbor said.

Two brothers were killed in a house fire Oct. 28, 2019 in Grosse Pointe. (WDIV)

Mother rushed home

The morning after the fire at the home on Fisher Road brings no comfort and no answers. The two brothers were trapped by either the flames or heavy smoke, so they ran upstairs. It's believed the boys called their mother, who rushed back home but couldn't get inside.

The neighbor across the street was emotional Monday as he talked about what happened.

"You could hear the screaming from the mom. I'm running out the door, and some guy broke open a window and the huge flames came roaring up. The kids were up in the bedroom above the garage, and they were trapped up there. You could hear the screaming. It was just terrible," he said.

Neighbors --- even strangers rushed to the house trying to break in to get to the boys.

"Some guy in a pickup truck just stopped and heard the screaming tried to help," said the neighbor, who did not want to be named in this story. "The first responders were here within a minute or two. They suited up, they went in, but there was just nothing they could do. It was an intense fire.

Investigators think the fire may have started in the kitchen, but aren't sure yet.

The aftermath of a deadly house fire Oct. 29, 2019 in Grosse Pointe.

School had later start on Monday

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.

Prayer service

A prayer service will be held at 6 p.m. Wednesday at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church -- 157 Lake Shore Rd, Grosse Pointe Farms, MI 48236.

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