Mother, daughter killed in house fire on Detroit's east side

An early morning fire sweeps through a home, killing a mother and daughter. A young neighbor raced in to pull them to safety but it was too late. Now one man is grieving the loss of his wife and and child.

Police the 57-year-old mother and her 32-year-old daughter were killed in the early-morning fire on Wilfred Street on Detroit's east side.  

Charles Harris says his daughter woke up and came downstairs yelling, "There's a fire! There's a fire!" Harris says he yelled for his family to follow him to the back door to safety, but when he turned around he did not see anyone behind him. 

Now, he says he lost everything: his wife, his daughter, and their family home.

"I turned around to go back to see, did they trip or fall or something? But when I started back I didn't make it [any] further than the kitchen door and that's when the smoke just hit me, and it just ... took my breathing away," Harris says. 

A 15-year-old boy, who is said to have helped rescue Harris, told investigators he saw flames coming out of an air conditioning unit. He says the flames then traveled to the living room curtains. 

Fire crews remain on scene investigating the cause of the fire. Initial investigation indicates the fire was electrical and started in the wall of the home.

Officials say it does not appear the home had working smoke detectors.

"My grandmother was a kind, caring person. She was in the process of getting and my sisters back from foster care and she just fixed up the house," 17- year-old Devin Jackson said.

Jackson is in foster care. He and his brother, Kenneth,  lost their mother in 2007 when she was shot and killed. They've been through other housefires elsewhere, but this is the toughest loss.

"This is our third housefire. This is the one that completely destroyed us. All our memories were lost right there," Devin said. "Our grandmother was our last mother we had. Now we just have each other."
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