SHEBOYGAN FALLS, Wis. (AP) – A house fire has claimed the lives of three children in eastern Wisconsin, including an 11-year-old who tried to rescue two younger children from the fire, officials said Wednesday.
A fourth child, a 9-year-old girl, escaped from the burning home in Sheboygan Falls Tuesday night after the 11-year-old woke her up by yelling “fire, fire,” and told her to run and get help, said Sheboygan Falls Public Safety Director Steven Riffel. The girl ran to a neighbor’s house, and the neighbor called 911 at about 9 p.m.
“Very preliminary information is that the 11-year-old was able to wake the 9-year-old and give a warning to flee the residence. The 9-year-old did, believing the others were following,” Riffel said. “The 11-year-old returned to assist the other two still upstairs, but none were able to flee the home.”
The other victims were ages 7 and 10. All three were pulled from the fire by firefighters, but later died at hospitals from their injuries.
There were no adults in the house at the time, Riffel said. He said authorities were investigating reports that the parents may have been at a church Bible study at the time. Riffel did not say whether the children were siblings or related in some way.
He said smoke alarms were working. The cause of the fire is being investigated.
Sheboygan Falls is 55 miles north of Milwaukee.