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Woman, 3 children die in Mich. house fire

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Woman, 3 children die in Mich. house fire

A Highland Park firefighter stands between two of five houses burned in a early blaze in Highland Park, Mich., Wednesday, Oct. 22, 2008. Four people from one of the houses are missing.

    HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. — Fire killed a woman and three children in one home early Wednesday and spread to four other houses, fire and city officials said.
    Space heaters used to warm the victims’ home may have caused the blaze, fire department and city officials said. The temperature at the time in nearby Detroit was 37 degrees.
    The officials confirmed the deaths, but would not identify the victims. Family members said they were a 51-year-old woman and three children — two boys, 10 and 5, and a girl, 8. They were among eight people living in the house.
    Willie Dale, who said he was the adult victim’s son, said he escaped from the house with his girlfriend, their 10-month-old daughter and the mother of the three children who died.
    ‘‘I woke up to my Mom saying ‘It’s a fire. Get out,’’’ said Dale, 29. ‘‘All the smoke came in, and I tumbled down the stairs.’’
    Those who escaped with Dale were taken to a hospital but did not suffer life-threatening injuries.
    ‘‘It’s very, very sad,’’ said Highland Park’s emergency financial manager Arthur Blackwell. The cash-strapped 2.9-square-mile city just outside Detroit has been run by a state-appointed emergency financial manager for years.
    The fire spread along the neighborhood, burning three homes to the ground and gutting two others. The neighborhood, one block from a busy urban freeway, consists of older, two-story homes, many of them vacant.
    Highland Park’s storied past includes a Ford Motor Co. Model T factory that employed 100,000 workers and Chrysler headquarters.
    Elsewhere, an early morning blaze killed four people in a mobile home at Nacogdoches, Texas.
    Nacogdoches Fire Chief Keith Kiplinger said the bodies of two women and two children, ages 3 and 4, were found in a back bedroom.
    Firefighters said the flames were ‘‘high in the trees’’ over the house when they arrived.
    Nacogdoches is about 150 miles southeast of Dallas.

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