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Couple killed in Van Buren Township house fire

Fire officials believe couple was trying to escape through garage

Patricia and Richard Johnson were killed in a fire at their home July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township.
Patricia and Richard Johnson were killed in a fire at their home July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)

VAN BUREN TWP., Mich. – A married couple in their 70s was killed early Thursday morning in a house fire on Lilac Lane near Belleville Road and I-94 in Van Buren Township.

A house burns July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township.
A house burns July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)

Authorities said a man and woman died in the fire while trying to escape through the garage of the home. They have been identified as Richard Johnson, 76, and Patricia Johnson, 77.

Patricia and Richard Johnson were killed in a fire at their home July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township.
Patricia and Richard Johnson were killed in a fire at their home July 2, 2020 in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)

Firefighters had to execute a defensive attack because the fire was so big and so hot. An aerial truck had to help put out the fire.

Fire officials said this appears to be an accidental fire. They are still investigating the cause.

“It appears that they were attempting to leave the residence, they were trying to get out. Whether they were going to leave in the car, whether they were just trying to open the garage door ... from where the fire was at and where they were at, they were at the furthest point they could be from the fire. And they were wearing sleeping attire, so it looks like they were trying to leave,” said a Van Buren Township firefighter.

More: Van Buren Township news

A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township.
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township.
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township.
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township.
A house burned July 2, 2020 on Lilac Lane in Van Buren Township. (WDIV)

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