DETROIT (AP) - Fire ripped through a home for mentally and
physically impaired adults early Thursday, killing two of the 13
people inside, authorities said. Eleven people were injured.
The fire appeared to have started shortly before dawn on the
first floor of the three-story home, fire officials said.
Sophia Moss, the resident manager, said she went door-to-door
trying to get everybody out, but the blaze quickly forced her
outside.
"I was helpless," said a tearful Moss as she stood across from
the home. "I wanted to go back in but I knew I couldn't."
Some residents jumped about 7 feet from their second-story
windows.
"We told them, `Jump, jump,' because the fire was so profuse,"
Moss said.
One resident carried a wheelchair-bound man out the back door,
said Moss, who suffered minor injuries and was treated at the
scene.
The two people who died were on the third floor, Detroit Fire
Chief Lee Moore said.
Authorities were investigating the cause of the blaze, which
blackened the home's window frames and melted its vinyl siding.
Broadcast reports said a third person died at a hospital, but
Moore said fire officials were aware of only two deaths, and the
hospital couldn't confirm a third death.
DelMarie Headd, who opened the home 10 years ago, said she was
trying to arrange accommodations for the surviving residents, who
were Medicaid or Social Security disability recipients.
"I'm not going to leave them out," Headd said. "I wish I
could say that about all of them."
The facility was licensed by the city and passed a Fire
Department inspection several months ago, Headd said. Fire drills
were held every two or three months, she said.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)