Clipped From The Ludington Daily News
Seven Children Perish As Merritt Home Burns MERRITT (UPI)-Seven children died early today in a fire that swept their two-family home near this Missaukee County community northwest of Houghton Lake. The mothers and two other children escaped. Police said Mrs. Vicki Hall, 34, and Mrs. Dawn Snyder, 34, were sleeping in an upstairs bedroom with Mrs. Hall's infant daughter Patricia, four months, when the fire broke out some- time b"fTe 2 a.m. The smoke and flames quickly spread through the house, waking the two women, who frantically tried to reach the other children, police said. Mrs. Hall, with the infant in her arms, grabbed her son, Mike, 2, and ran downstairs through the flames. But Mike broke from her grasp and ran into the kitchen. The fire sealed off the doorway, forcing Mrs. Hall away from the kitchen to a nearby window, which she leaped through. Mrs. Snyder and her eldest son, Louis, 13, escaped through upstairs windows. But killed in the fire were Danny, Susan and Rex Snyder, aged 5 to 7, and three of Mrs. Hall's children, Debra, 6, Tammy, 4, and Mike. Mrs. Hall and the infant were admitted to a Cadillac hospital for treatment of burns. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. Mrs. Snyder.and Louis were treated and released. Mrs. Snyder's husband, Norman, was employed by the Hewitt Moving and Storage Co. of Cadillac and was driving a furniture van to Ohio when the tragedy occurred. Mrs. Hall was separated from her husband, police said. The cause of the fire was not immediately determined.