Michigan house fire kills four people

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THREE OAKS, Mich. (AP) — A house fire in a small southwestern Michigan village early Thursday morning killed four people, authorities said.

The blaze in Three Oaks started at about 5 a.m., Berrien County Sheriff L. Paul Bailey said.

Authorities wouldn’t release the victims’ names until their next of kin were notified, said Village Manager Adam Umbrasas, who described them as some “elderly residents and some young adults.”

He said the fire had affected the community of about 1,800 residents, which just north of the state line with Indiana, about 20 miles northwest of South Bend, Ind., and 95 miles southwest of Grand Rapids.

“Crowds of people were out there and you could see the tears in people’s eyes,” Umbrasas told The Associated Press. “They’ve known these people all of their lives.”

A local church opened its doors to provide warmth, while neighbors gave firefighters and others coffee.

“It’s always powerful to see small town America come together in the face of tragedy,” said.

The village fire department and state fire marshal’s office were investigating.

WSBT photo/MARK HONAKER
WSBT photo/MARK HONAKER

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