Officials ID victims in Lake St. Clair boat fire, cause unknown

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Macomb County authorities on Friday announced the identities of three people who died last weekend in a boat fire on Lake St. Clair. 

Sheriff’s deputies and the Harrison Township Fire Department dispatched to Fox Marine on South River Road at about 6:05 a.m. Saturday after callers reported smoke onboard.

They found the group as well as a dog dead in the boat's cabin.

This is the boat house at Fox Marine in Harrison Township where Macomb County Sheriff’s deputies and the Harrison Township Fire Department were dispatched at about 6:05 a.m. Saturday after getting a report that a boat was on fire, according to a sheriff’s office release.

Boat owners docked near the 1987 Chris-Craft told police that three people had been staying on it.

The victims have been identified as Mark Matthews, 60, of Williston, North Dakota, and Jason Miron, 43, and Stephanie Arzola, 41, both Grand Rapids residents, the sheriff's office said in a statement Friday.

The mixed-breed dog belonged to Matthews, who also owned the boat, according to the release. They all were last seen around 2 a.m. Saturday. 

Fire investigators for the Macomb County Sherriff's Office conducted a thorough examination of the boat and were unable to determine the case, officials said. 

"It is believed that the fire started within the main living area of the cabin on a couch," the release notes. "The ignition source and first materials to catch fire could not be located to it either being removed or consumed by the fire. Electrical issues were ruled out as cause; however, smoking/smoking material could not be ruled out or proven."

The cabin had a working smoke detector, sheriff's officials said.