HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WJBK) - Highland Park police and fire were at the scene of a deadly house fire on Connecticut Street Monday morning.
The blaze killed 12-year-old Marvin Traylor. Fire investigators say Marvin's body was found on the third floor - his sister had been sleeping on the second floor - where the fire started.
Investigators believe the fire was possibly caused by a space heater or overloaded circuit. Officials say the children were home alone while mom was at work.
Neighbor Richard Miller woke around 5 a.m. to the smell of smoke and his dog's barking. He ran through his own home but found nothing on fire - then looked next door.
"I could see flames, red flames or whatever color flames, the house (was) on fire next door," Miller said.
He ran outside and found Marvin's 13-year-old sister, Honesty.
"The little girl was covered in soot and I was like - where's your brother at?" he said. "She's like oh he's in the house."
Miller says they watched as a bystander ran inside to try to help - but he couldn't save Marvin.
"Unfortunately we suffered a loss of our little neighbor," Miller said. "A good kid - a really good kid."
Marvin's sister suffered burns and smoke inhalation and is now at Detroit Children's Hospital of Michigan. The family lost everything - but the loss of Marvin is impacting everyone from relatives to neighbors and first responders who tried to save him.
"I'm kind of lost for words you know," said Fire Chief Kevin Coney. "I have a child of my own and the holiday season comes around it's just - it's really sad that this happened."
The fire chief and police chief asking for prayers, donations - anything to help this family - dealing with tragedy just days before Thanksgiving.
"Please extend your hand out to her - and give her a kind word - she's going to need it," Coney said.
"We're going to do all we can to put our arms around this family and help them get through this tragedy," said Police Chief Chester Logan.
Chief Coney is asking anyone who can reach out and help this family to contact the Highland Park Fire Department at 313-852-3221.