Second body located in Battle Creek house fire

Posted at 4:51 PM, Dec 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-05 19:02:24-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- Investigators confirm to FOX 17 that they've located the body of the second victim in a Battle Creek house fire.

Family identifies them as a mother and daughter, Dorothy Cantrell, 85, and Dian Cantrell, 64.

Family said Dian Cantrell was a former Battle Creek Police officer.

The fire broke out just after 12:30 on Friday morning at 120 Greenwood Avenue. Fire crews have found one of the victims who they're not yet identifying.

Come daylight, family stood by and watched as the home was torn to the ground.

Letitia McKissic said she just spoke to her cousin Dian the night before.

"Talking about Christmas--what we were going to cook," McKissic said. "For that home to hold so many memories and for it to come down like a piece of's hard."

The Battle Creek Fire Chief said that upon arriving tot he fire, within just a few feet into entering the home, crews had to pull out due to softening floors and the heat.

Michele Buford, who lives nearby, said she watched as crews rushed to the scene.

"It was smoke, just tons of smoke coming out of the house-- looked like the fire started upstairs," Buford said.

McKissic said when Dian Cantrell retired from the BDPD, she began taking care of her mother Dorothy, who had dementia.

"She didn't want to put her in a home," McKissic said. "She wanted to take care of her mom."

As for Dorothy, McKissic said she was very active with the Second Baptist Church.

"Dorothy was a woman that was a [mom] to a lot of people in the community," McKissic said. " she helped raise she was a strong believer in a community help raise children and she was one of those women that was a community mom. I’m sad that it has happened but I know that she’s at peace--I know that both of them are at peace."

While investigators haven't determined a cause for the fire, they tell FOX 17, they don't suspect any foul play.