Three Oaks, Mich. Three Oaks, Mich. The names of the four that died in the fire in Three Oaks yesterday morning have been released.
Homeowners Orville D. Kiernan, 77, and Leota G. Kiernan, 76, their granddaughter Anna M. Peek, 20, and her boyfriend Kyle R. Tyler, 19, died in the fire yesterday.
The cause of death for all of them was smoke inhalation, according to Berrien County Medical Examiner Dr. Robert Clark.
The fire broke out yesterday morning in the 200 block of North Elm St. in Berrien County around 5:30.
The source of the fire is still unknown. The Michigan State. Police Canine Unit found no indication of accelerants at the residence.
The family’s insurance provider and the Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit are continuing independent investigations at the residence.
A passerby spotted flames coming from the home, called 911 and tried to alert the occupants by honking his horn.
Many Three Oaks residents described the elderly couple as a “staple of the community.”
Orville Kiernan was a former member of the Three Oaks Fire Department and a member of the American Legion.
“I mean Orville was a great person,” said Three Oak’s resident Beryl Hinman. “He lived here a long time and he always waved. Everyone knew the Kiernan’s, everybody in the community here.”
Friends say his wife, Leota, had a restaurant just down the street from their home at one point.
“She was friendly, very friendly,” said Myra Hinman, a friend since childhood. “She loved everybody she had a restaurant here in town. Good cook, good mom, just a good person. They will be missed.”