House Fire Claims Four Lives

by Q. William Bacon


INTERNATIONAL CITY, Michigan - At 10:51pm last night, emergency operators were contacted by a man who saw smoke and flames at his neighbor's house. Police and firefighters responded and confirmed flames inside the living room. They attempted to enter but the doors were locked. The first responders saw persons moving about inside, but the persons did not unlock the doors or exit the building.

At this point, firefighters gained forcible entry through first-floor doors and windows. Persons were discovered inside but were hostile. As a firefighter attempted to climb stairs to the second-floor, he was violently attacked by an unidentified woman. It is a felony to prevent an emergency worker from performing his duty. Police opened fire and shot the assailant several times, killing her.

Firefighters using ladders and axes forcibly entered a second-story window, awakening an elderly woman, who then collapsed. Later, at the hospital, the elder was declared dead by apparent heart attack.

Firefighters tried to save an unidentified man who had sought refuge on a second-floor balcony. But the man then attempted to climb onto the roof. He slid off and fell onto the top of the firetruck, killing him instantly.

Hoses were finally brought to bear on the flames, which were localized to a fireplace in the living room. However, an unidentified man attempted to stop the high-pressure stream. The pressure threw him backward into the fireplace, where he suffered fatal contusions and burns.

City officials say this is the most lethal fire the city has suffered since the last one.