North Central / Regional Reports

Fire Kills Mother, Five Children; Window A/C Connection Blamed

August 2, 2003
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PONTIAC, Mich. — A fire, which officials believe began when a window air conditioner, plugged into a strip outlet, overheated and caught the nearby carpet and couch on fire, killed a mother and her five children in Pontiac, Mich., north of Detroit.

Pontiac fire officials said that the rental home had no smoke detectors and did not have an occupancy permit, based on a number of code violations. Officials are pursuing criminal charges against the landlord in connection with the fire.

The dead include: Guillermina Carrasco, 26 and her children Grecia, 7, twins Enrique and Eduardo, 4, Veronica, 2, and Selena, 1. Carrasco was pregnant with twins.

According to The Detroit Free Press, code enforcement officers inspected the house in May and cited the landlord “for several violations, including the absence of smoke detectors throughout the home.” However, city officials said that they have no record that the repairs were made.

Publication date: 08/04/2003

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