BOSTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two brothers were killed in a mobile home fire in Boston Township in Ionia County Tuesday afternoon.
The victims have been identified as Thomas Arthur Smith and Steven Mack Smith, ages 47 and 51, respectively.
A passerby called 911 after seeing the fire in the 5300 block of Hotchkiss Road, between Saranac and Lowell. By the time firefighters arrived around 2:20 p.m., they noticed the fire was already mature, fast-moving and very hot.
There was nothing they could do to save the lives of the Smiths. The brothers’ dog was also killed.
One of the brothers used a wheelchair, family members said.
Trevor Slater, a Michigan State Police fire investigator, told 24 Hour News 8 on Friday the cause will never be known because of the extent of the damage to the residence. He believes the fire started in the west side of the home, but beyond that is unable to make a determination.
Investigators said Wednesday the fire was likely not the result of foul play.
The Saranac Fire Department, which had been called to the home before on medical calls, had warned the residents about their use of space heaters, according to a Wednesday news release.
Autopsies conducted Wednesday revealed the Smith brothers died as a result of the fire. Foul play was not a factor in either death.
Dave Shank told 24 Hour News 8 the victims were his brothers-in-law. He said they were “nice enough guys,” “good brother-in-laws most of the time” and “average two brothers.”