Two people dead after house fire on Walnut Street
SOUTH BEND, Ind.—Two people have died following a house fire early Thursday morning.
Officials were called to the scene of the fire in the 800 block of South Walnut Street just before 5 a.m.
Two people were rescued from the roof of the home's porch and two people were removed from the second floor of the home, according to the fire chief.
The St. Joseph County Coroner's Office confirmed that two of those adults died from smoke-related injuries. According to family members at the scene, the deceased victims' names are Tanyette McCormick, 46, and William McCormick, 40
Loretta Page, 71, and Ja-Channa Page, 13, were taken to the hospital, according to family members.
It took firefighters about 20 minutes to put the fire out amid concerns of the fire spreading due to the high wind, the fire chief said.
No firefighters were injured in the incident.
Neighbors came outside after hearing sirens early Thursday morning.
“Basically the whole street was filled with smoke," said Kevin Wooding, a resident who lives down the street.
Friends and neighbors who know the family described the situation as a tragic event.
“It’s terrible," said Wooding. "It’s tragic. Never should happen any time of year, but especially this time of year.”
A friend of Tanyette McCormick had known the victim for years and described her as a wonderful person.
“She was beautiful. I’m being honest with you…she was a good, she would talk to you and she would smile and she had her little disability but like I was telling everyone else that… she would get around more than I would and I’ve got a car.”
South Bend Fire Department officials confirmed that three smoke alarms and one carbon monoxide alarm were installed at the home on November 14.
Investigators are still working to determine an exact cause. Officials said it was likely caused by a heating element, such as an electrical baseboard heater.
Officials said it was likely an accidental fire started in an upper-level room.
Page said the family has no belongings or clothes at this time and is asking for the community’s help to provide clothing and shoes.
If you are interested in donating, you can visit the family's GoFundMe page here.