SAGINAW, Mich. – A kitchen fire engulfed a house early Thursday, killing five children and their stepfather, who ran back into the flames to try to save them, authorities said.
The children's mother was rescued from the two-story home by sheriff's deputies, police Sgt. Mark Lively said.
The early-morning fire started in the kitchen, where the stepfather, 33-year-old Samuel Watkins, had been cooking, police Detective Jason Ball said. The fire was reported at 2:30 a.m.
Watkins ran out of the burning house and flagged down the deputies, who were nearby on an unrelated matter, police said. Watkins then re-entered the home, running "back through a wall of flames and smoke to go upstairs," Ball said.
All six victims were found upstairs, he said.
Watkins' wife, 33-year-old Tanesha Watkins, was trapped by the flames and fled to the basement, where deputies rescued her.
Along with Samuel Watkins, police identified the victims as Tanesha Watkins' children: Adam Dupuis, 13; Majesty Price, 8; Destiny Price, 5; Essence Price, 3; and Chad Skinner, 1.
The fire came only days after a 27-year-old pregnant woman and her three children died Monday in a fire at their Detroit home. Their father suffered burns over 80 percent of his body.
The home didn't have any working smoke detectors. That fire was sparked by an unattended barbecue grill, Detroit fire officials said.