Fire kills 19-year old in Benton Township

A 19-year old Benton Township woman died Saturday morning when her apartment caught fire. What started the flames is going to have you looking around your home tonight. Investigators think a candle tipped over while the young woman was sleeping.

The early morning fire that started in this Benton Township apartment may look like a minor fire from the outside,  but it was big enough to take 19-year old Joisha Boatner’s life.

“My daughter had been woke up by the detector and the smell of smoke. When she called me she said there’s smoke here and the detectors are going off, so I ran over to see what was going on” said Rory Bell

Rory Bell is a former firefighter and Joisha’s neighbor. Two of his daughters also live in the building that caught fire. When one of them smelled smoke, he came rushing over.

“What I did was try to knock the fire down so that they can get in and we can get her out but it was too late" said Bell.

Bell says he dragged Joisha out of the kitchen and to the doorway. That is when he noticed her sofa was on fire in the living room. He did not feel a pulse and waited for paramedics to arrive.

"She was just an all around good kid. I can't say I ever had any bad dealings with her at all. She was a good kid" said Bell.

Benton Township police say the fire was confined to the living room. Fortunately, firefighters were able to put it out before it could spread to the neighboring apartments. The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal also visited the scene Saturday morning and has not disclosed his final report.


Share this article: