ROGERS CITY, Mich. – A fire raced through a home in rural northern Michigan before dawn Tuesday, killing a man and his four children and sending the children's mother to the hospital, authorities said.
Meanwhile, three children were believed dead in a house fire in Sidney, Ohio, about 75 miles northwest of Columbus, authorities said.
A neighbor of the family in Rogers City, about 210 miles north of Detroit, called 911, officials said. Presque Isle County emergency responders found the home engulfed in flames and the five victims inside.
Terry Langlois said he called 911 after being awakened by his dog's barking and seeing the house across the street on fire.
"Flames were coming from everywhere," Langlois said. "I could see the woman outside banging on her bedroom window. I called 911, put on my clothes and ran outside. By then, she was in my driveway.
"The house was too far gone for anyone to get in there."
Langlois, 53, said the woman told him she and her husband were asleep with the two younger children in a downstairs bedroom when her 15-year-old daughter banged on her door, saying the living room was on fire.
"She told me she screamed at her daughter to get out and hollered at her husband to get out," Langlois said. "He said, `You get out, and I'll get the kids."'
The woman told Langlois that she crawled out the back door before realizing no one was behind her. She then ran to the front of the house, thinking her husband took that way out, but he wasn't there either.
The Rogers City fire chief didn't release the victims' names but said the parents were 38 years old. The children were a 17-year-old boy and girls ages 15, 5 and 2, the chief said in a news release.
In the Ohio fire, three people were taken to hospitals after the Tuesday night blaze in a two-story home, Sidney Fire Lt. Cameron Haller said.
Eight people were in the home, and five made it out, Sidney Fire Chief Stan Crosley told WDTN-TV.
The television station reported that some of those who escaped jumped out a second-story window. Icy conditions hampered efforts by firefighters.