Monroe, MI Seven Die In Home Fire, Apr 1956
7 SMALL CHILDREN PERISH IN FIRE IN MONROE COUNTY.
POLICE QUESTIONING PARENTS; COMMUNITY STARTS BURIAL FUND.
Monroe, Mich. (UP) -- Seven children, all under 10 years old, were burned to death in a home near the Michigan-Ohio line about midnight Wednesday and police held the father of six of the children for investigation.
The seventh child was a nephew of John and Laura Cooper, whose home was destroyed.
State Troopers Robert Tubbs and Ben Benites asked Monroe County Prosecutor William J. Braunlich, Jr., to charge Cooper either with child neglect or accidental homicide. Braunlich said he would have to study the facts of the case. Cooper was being held at Monroe County Jail.
Mrs. Harold Opferman, wife of a Whiteford Center fireman, said Mrs. Cooper was also taken to Monroe for questioning.
Mrs. Opferman said Mrs. Cooper did not appear distraught after being brought from the restaurant at Toledo, Ohio, where she was employed, to the fire scene. She said Mrs. Cooper was driven home by the minister of her church.
"I believe she was too shocked to show any feeling," Mrs. Opferman.
The Coopers had no insurance to provide money for burial and the community immediately started trying to raise a burial fund.
The police reported Cooper took his wife to the Candlelight Cafe, Toledo, shortly before 10 p.m. She was to work there until 3 a.m. and he was to return home to care for the children. He did not return until after 1 a.m.
The children killed were HARRISON LEONARD, 9, the nephew, and BRENDA JOYCE, 9; JACQUELINE MAY, 5; JOHN, JR., 4; SHIRLEY JEAN, 2; GEORGIA MARIE, 1; CARTER STEVEN, 2 months. The nephew was being raised by the Coopers after the death of his mother, Mrs. Cooper's sister.
Holland Evening Sentinel Michical 1956-04-26