PALO, Mich (WOOD) - Two men died in a fire at a home for veterans in northern IoniaCounty early Sunday morning.
There were 11 people living at Honor House, an independently runhome for low-income veterans in the 8400 block of Judevine Road.But the two men who died -- 51-year-old Christian Aversano ofClinton Township and 55-year-old Raymond Andrews of Waterford --were not veterans; they were homeless and permitted to stay at thehouse. Preliminary autopsy findings indicate both men died of smokeand carbon monoxide inhalation.
Tricia Parsons began renting the home to veterans about one anda half years ago. She didn't mind when others occupied theresidence, either.
"(The victims) are people that were homeless and needed to be ina home, so we took them in even though it was a veterans home,"Parsons said. "They were both very special people. We missthem."
All the residents of Honor House are able-bodied and can getaround on their own, Parsons said. One of the men who died may havehad a medical condition, she added.
Both the victims were found dead inside the home, according to anews release.
About 50 firefighters responded to the northern Ionia Countyfire, which started at around 2 a.m. and burned for more than threehours.
"When I got here, (I) knew they weren't out of the house,"Parsons said. "I just, I knew. Because there was just so manyflames and the fire just wasn't stopping."
Preliminary indications are that a candle startedthe blaze. Witnesses told officials someone living in the home lita candle that was not in a holder.
Though the investigation continues, authorities believe the firewas accidental.
But it was Cory Morris of the Ronald Township areaand one of the victims, Parsons said, who sacrificed his own lifeto help out some of the other nine residents, she said.
"He saved some lives here last night and he's a great, greatperson," Parsons added.
11 fire departments from several counties were called out to a fire at an adult entertainment club Wednesday afternoon.
Holland police were searching for 28-year-old Mark Steven Randall Harris, who was considered armed and dangerous, but arrested him late Wednesday night.
Those receiving the 2013 White House holiday card will see a design made by a Grand Rapids artist.