Grosse Pointe brothers died of smoke, soot inhalation
Grosse Pointe — Logan and Walter Briggs Connolly, the 9- and 11-year-old brothers killed in a Grosse Pointe house fire, died of smoke and soot inhalation, and their deaths were accidental, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office said Thursday.
Just before sunrise on Monday, neighbors saw smoke and then heard screams for help coming from a home on Fisher Road, where the boys lived with their parents.
Firefighters found the first floor fully engulfed. Once firefighters entered, a search of the home revealed the bodies of the two children in an upper bedroom.
The Grosse Pointe Public Safety Department received a 911 call about 7:51 a.m. Monday for a house fire on the 700 block of Fisher. Safety director Stephen Poloni said police units arrived in two minutes and fire trucks in four minutes.
Poloni said preliminary indications are that the fire began in the home's kitchen.
The two boys attended Richard Elementary School in Grosse Pointe Farms and were in the fourth and fifth grades, according to school and police officials.
The brothers' deaths prompted a "sticks out" tribute across Metro Detroit's hockey community. The brothers were hockey players.
Community members offered their respects to the boys at a service Wednesday at St. Paul on the Lake Catholic Church.
“When we decided on Monday to hold this service because of the magnitude of such loss, we had no idea that this would be the response,” said the Rev. Jim Bilot during the service. “The gathering space outside is just filled with people."
Bilot told the crowd: "In this horrific time, please know (the boys) are not alone."