Woman killed in Rockford-area fire was 'wonderful, caring'

It's still not known what caused a deadly fire Friday in the Rockford area.

CANNON TOWNSHIP, MICH. - What could have caused a deadly fire racked the minds of many as investigators continue to look into the cause.

The fire happened Friday, June 2, on Fricke Court, just south of Belding Road. A neighbor off-camera said the 64-year-old woman who died was "wonderful and caring."

"We heard a bunch of snapped twigs and it's just been really dry out -- I just thought it was a brush fire," Rockford resident Mike Knuth said. 

But Knuth quickly realized that was not the case. He took his golf cart down the road to discover a house fire.

Kent County Sheriff Department officials say firefighters were dispatched around 5 p.m. 

"They discovered a house was fully engulfed in flames and they were not able to gain access," chief deputy Kevin Kelley said. 

Knuth says a few of those firefighters had a tough time figuring out how to access the home.

"They couldn't find how to get to the house," he said. "The driveway was off a side street, so they couldn't get to the house. That's why I was chopping through the woods, trying to help find their driveway and we wound up in the back of their yard. 

"The fire just moved right through the house." 

Investigators say when firefighters arrived, a 65-year-old man was in the front yard and told firefighters his wife was still inside.

"By the time the township firefighters were able to extinguish the fire to the point where they can make rescue, the 64-year-old woman was dead," Kelley said. 

The man found in the front yard was treated for smoke inhalation and released. 

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