UPDATE: Cause of death determined in deadly South Bend fire

George Bailey
Angela Williams

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- After a deadly fire killed George Bailey, 58, and Angela Williams, 43, family members were left wondering why. Monday, autopsies were completed on the two individuals and the forensic pathologist says they died of smoke and soot inhalation during the fire.

Metro Homicide was called to the scene Saturday to investigate the deaths. With this new information, they continue to investigate whether the manner of death to Ms. Williams and Mr. Bailey was a homicide.

Fire investigators are still unsure what caused the blaze, but believe it began in the living room. They took samples on Sunday to send to Indianapolis for further analysis.

Family members are still struggling to understand why this happened to two great people.

“I’m very saddened and distraught,” Katherine Bailey, George Bailey’s sister said. “We loved him and the neighborhood loved him. He was a loving kind friendly person.”

Bailey and Williams were found dead in the house on Kenwood Avenue. Fire investigators will not say the fire is suspicious however; St. Joseph County Metro Homicide was called to the scene this morning.

“Right now we’re a part of the investigation,” Tim Corbett, Commander with St. Joseph County Metro Homicide said. “Obviously we’re County Metro Homicide; we’re there for a reason. We are investigating it as a homicide.”

But family members are all but convinced the fire was deliberately set.

“We can’t say this person was mad or that person was mad because he had no enemies,” Lori Bowerman, Bailey’s cousin said. “We don’t understand it. It’s just a big puzzle to us why anyone would want to hurt him.”

“I was trying to figure out who could have done something like this to a person like her,” Rose Redding, Vice President of Mamas Against Violence and cousin of Williams said. “She was a very sweet person and never bothered anybody. I was wondering who could do something like that.”

Bailey was considered the neighborhood mechanic by most because he would work on everyone’s cars for free. Robert Reese, Bailey’s Brother-In-Law, says he would do this for people who couldn’t afford it out of the kindness of his heart.

“Everybody loved him,” Reese said. “I really haven’t accepted this yet. It’s a hell of a thing. We’ve known each other our whole lives. I married his sister and it’s going to be really hard not to see him every day, not just for me but for the neighborhood also. People don’t believe it.”


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