BARRY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Family has identified the body of a teenager who was found in the basement following a house fire that is believed to have been caused by candles, according to the Barry County Sheriff’s Office.
It happened around 4:18 a.m. early Tuesday on Kingsbury Road near Pifer Road and Bay Road near Delton. Six fire departments responded, including the state fire marshal. Mercy EMS and The Red Cross also arrived at the scene.
Sixteen-year-old Kayla Casey was found dead in the basement of the home. Investigators said they believe the fire was started by burning candles after the house lost power.
Casey was from northern Minnesota but was in Michigan visiting her grandparents and cousins for the summer, according to her sister, Melanie Wetherbee.
Wetherbee said in a text that Casey loved painting, singing, dancing and horseback riding, which was her favorite thing to do in Delton when she visited her grandparents.
“My favorite thing about her was her personality,” said Wetherbee. “I loved how outgoing she was and she seemed to make friends everywhere she went.”
She said Casey’s brother and sister were also in the house at the time of the fire but made it out safely.
“She was loved by everyone,” Wetherbee added. “Kayla had a very big heart.”
Kayla was just about to turn 17 next month.
Drone video of the scene shows the house is a total loss. Wreckage of two cars can be seen in what appears to have been a garage that has now burned to the ground. The blaze and plume of smoke could be seen from across Big Cedar Lake, nearby.
Storms rolled through West Michigan Monday night into Tuesday, causing power outages in the area.
There was a large emergency response, with five different fire agencies responding to the scene. The state fire marshal and the Red Cross were also there.