Survivor of Pontiac fire that killed 2, injured 5 speaks out: ‘I don’t know how I made it’

Fire began early Monday morning

Two people were killed and five others were injured early Monday morning in a Pontiac fire, officials said. The fire began at 2:44 a.m. Monday (Jan. 17) at a home in the 800 block of St. Clair Street, near Kennett Road and Baldwin Avenue, according to authorities. Eleven adults lived inside the home.

PONTIAC, Mich. – Two people were killed and five others were injured early Monday morning in a Pontiac fire, officials said.

The fire began at 2:44 a.m. Monday (Jan. 17) at a home in the 800 block of St. Clair Street, near Kennett Road and Baldwin Avenue, according to authorities. Eleven adults lived inside the home.

Original report: 2 killed, 5 injured in Pontiac house fire, officials say

“I could feel the heat. I was like, ‘No way I’m going through that -- I gotta jump out the window,’” Lebron Tyler said.

Tyler escaped the fire by jumping from the second-floor window. It was a split-second decision.

“I thought it was over because when I did try to jump my leg got caught. I don’t know how I made it, but I just made it,” Tyler said.

Lachen Herring didn’t think twice when she heard screams for help. She lives in the area.

“I was at the second window at the back. I had to take the shopping cart and break his fall on there and then another guy had his leg out the window and another guy was trying to climb down the brick,” Herring said.

Timothy Minor escaped the fire and said they only survived because of the help from neighbors.

One tenant woke up to the commotion and fast moving flames.

“It was terrifying ‘cause I didn’t know if I was going to live or die,” Minor said.

Five people were injured trying to escape the fire and two men were killed. Police said one body was found in a second-floor bedroom and another was found in the first-floor kitchen.

“I wish I could’ve done more,” Herring said.

Among those on the second floor was a Pontiac man and his 19-year-old autistic stepson. The man jumped to safety and told his stepson to follow. The teen has not been found.

“It was horrifying listening to them and you don’t know what to do,” Herring said.

Two Pontiac men, ages 67 and 68, were taken to a nearby hospital and treated for smoke inhalation, police said. A 58-year-old Pontiac man broke his leg, they said.

A fire investigator from the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is looking into the cause of the blaze.


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Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

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