LANSING, MICH. (WLNS) — The Lansing community is devastated after an early Wednesday morning house fire killed three children and hurt others.
The fire started around 1:30 a.m. on New York Avenue near Lake Lansing Road. Officials said there were seven victims and believe the fire was an accident and was possibly electrical.
“I didn’t know about the fire until I saw the fire truck, but it’s horrible ya know, her little boys,” said Neighbor Glenda Johnson. “I wouldn’t know what that would be like.”
Johnson lives just a few doors down from where the fire broke out. She’s heartbroken after learning her three young neighbors died.
She said, “Children aren’t suppose to go before their parents.”
“The firefighters are having a really tough time with this one, even though they did an amazing job on scene, they got the fire done quickly they did a very hard aggressive search,” said Lansing Assistant Fire Chief Mike Tobin. “They had all the victims out of the house in less than seven minutes. They did everything they possibly could do, they just couldn’t save them.”
Officials said the children were 8-year-old Juan Zavala, 5-year-old Ramiro Zavala, and 3-year-old Manolo Zavala. The other victims names have not been released.
Johnson said the kids were full of energy and, “The grandma, Shelly, used to bring them over here to let them run around.”
A crisis team was at Gier Park Elementary Wednesday where the children went to school.
The Lansing School District Superintendent released a statement that said, “We are all devastated about the loss of these wonderful young children and our thoughts and prayers are with the family members recovering in the hospital at this time.”
An 18 month old and two adults were taken to the hospital and a second 5-year-old is in critical condition.
Tobin said, “The 18 month old actually has been treated and released from Sparrow hospital.”
“I couldn’t imagine,” Johnson said. “Don’t want to either because I have grandkids of my own.”