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Preliminary cause announced in fatal Battle Creek fire
BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A house fire kills a disabled man and left his parents fighting for their lives this Christmas weekend.
Newschannel 3 was first on scene when the blaze began just after midnight.
Neighbors could hear the family screaming for help, as flames were shooting from the home on Summer Street.
The fire was concentrated in the back of the home where 23-year-old Frank Mosher Junior's bedroom is located.
With no smoke detectors in this home, firefighters say it was hard for the family to be prepared for what would happen next.
"I tried getting to the back door and i was covered in smoke," said Brad Stillwell, neighbor.
"I heard, 'Help! Help me!' I couldnt get to her," said Sherry Malone, neighbor.
Neighbors say the fire ripped through the home so fast, the family of five was trapped.
"All I could say is I'm calling the police I'm calling for help you know," said Malone.
A cousin of the family heard the fire on the scanner and recognized the address right away.
"I was a firefighter for 35 years you dont think it would ever happen to your family. It's hard to imagine he went like this," said James Heckman, cousin.
The Battle Creek Fire Inspector says the preliminary results show this was an electrical fire. The flames were so intense it caused a flashover in the disabled man's bedroom.
"All the contents in the room reach ignition temperature so it can be a dangerous fire to come to," said Fire Inspector Lt. Quincy Jones, Battle Creek Fire Department.
Mosher's brother and sister were rescued from the roof. His mother and father got out with third degree burns.
"I know they have a lot of smoke inhalation and are on a respirator," said James Heckman.
Now the family is working to figure out how to break the news to the parents, right after Christmas.
"Its horrible its horrible. Keep our family in our prayers," said Norma Gene Heckman, cousin.
Family say Frank Junior did not have life insurance. They're asking anyone who can make donations to help with funeral costs, send the money to Spencer Funeral Home.
The address is:
310 S. Capital Avenue
Athens, MI 49011
Firefighters do not suspect foul play. They say there were no working smoke detectors in the home.