Boy, 1, dies in Mich. fire with dad gone to Missouri

The father of a 1-year-old boy killed Tuesday in a fire that destroyed the family's mobile home in Holland Township was out of town checking on the well-being of his other children in tornado-ravaged Joplin, Mo. Firefighters were called to Leisure Estates in Holland Township about 2 a.m. Trenton Harlen died of smoke inhalation.
AP Wire
May 25, 2011


The boy’s 6-year-old sister, Jasmine VanderHulst, was hospitalized in stable condition late Tuesday; while the children’s 28-year-old mother, Amanda Harlen, was treated at a hospital and released, said Lt. Steve Kempker of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

The father, Jimmy Harlen, left Sunday for the Joplin area to make sure his other children and their mother were OK, neighbor Penny Michaels said.

Michaels said she heard an explosion and walked outside her mobile home to find her neighbor’s home engulfed in flames. Amanda Harlen was crying hysterically, Michaels told The Holland Sentinel.

“She was yelling and screaming, ‘Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby?”’ Michaels said. “I was just holding her and hugging her. I’ve never seen her like that before.”

The mother was able to put Jasmine out a window and into the arms of a male passer-by, but the smoke was too thick for her to find her son, said her cousin, Ashley Harris.

The cause of the fire was under investigation.


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