Fire claims lives of 2 senior citizens in home on Detroit's northwest side

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Two senior citizens died in a fire early Thursday at their home on Detroit's northwest side, officials said.

A visitor went to the one-story house in the 20300 block of Cherokee around 8:13 a.m. and knocked on the door, but no one answered. She then spotted smoke and immediately called 911, said Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell.

Firefighters forced their way inside and found heat as well as smoke leading them to a blaze in the basement, he said.

Once the flames were extinguished, the crew found a man and a woman; both had been badly burned. The woman was burned beyond recognition and pronounced dead at the scene, Fornell said.

The man, identified as a 75-year-old, appeared to be breathing and was rushed to DMC Sinai-Grace Hospital, where he died.

Authorities believe the victims were husband and wife. They have not released their names or other details.

The Detroit Fire Department's arson investigators believe the blaze was accidental, but the cause has yet to be determined, Fornell said.