Names, New Information Released In Tragic Grosse Pointe House Fire

Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen

WWJ News
October 29, 2019 - 4:27 pm

GROSSE POINTE (WWJ) - Federal and state investigators will be joining Grosse Pointe fire inspectors in trying to determine the cause of a house fire that killed two children.

Grosse Pointe Public Safety Director Stephen Poloni said a preliminary investigation found that no foul play is suspected in the fire that took the lives of brother 9-year-old Logan Connolly and 11-year old Walter Briggs Connolly, who were publicly identified Tuesday.

"It's a sad, very sad time; our officers are affected as well," Poloni said. "We're just all in prayer, to be honest...for the family, and the friends and the neighbors. The kids were great kids, well-liked. They were on sports teams, the teams came by yesterday. People are starting to bring flowers and things...the community's hurting."

Authorities said the boys were home alone Monday morning when the fire started, on Fischer Road near Charlevoix, while their mother was out running errands. 

"The father was away starting a new job in a Bloomfield Hills school," WWJ's Charlie Langton reported. "The mother was away as well, but close by; and the kids reportedly called the mom, the mom returned to the home...but it was too late."

Witnesses told WWJ that firefighters that did everything they could to try to save the boys, who were trapped in an upstairs bedroom. 

Investigators believe the fire started in the kitchen, but they haven't been able to pinpoint the source. Along with determining a cause, Poloni said investigators will also try to learn whether smoke alarms in the home were working.  

"Well, you can imagine, it's just a tragedy; I can't imagine what's going through (the parents') minds right now," Poloni said. "Of course, anytime something as tragic as this happen, you're looking at 'what did we do wrong,' you know? What went wrong, and so I'm sure they're just distraught."

The boys were in the 4th and 5th grader at Richard Elementary in Grosse Pointe Farms, where officials said crisis councilors would be available for students.