Fatal Fire

By: Jessica Aspiras Email
By: Jessica Aspiras Email

Crews are boarding up what's left of this home on Pheasant Avenue after a fire broke out just after midnight Saturday.

"Initially somebody saw it from a ways a way and saw a glow and thought it was a tree on fire. And then another passerby called and said there was a house on fire," says Captain John Dyer of the Lansing Fire Department.

When crews from the LFD arrived, flames were shooting out from three sides of the house.

"They tried to make an interior attack and went in through the front door and found that a section of the floor had already collapsed," explains Capt. Dyer.

The fire took about eight hours to extinguish. It left the house at a total loss.

"[They] did locate two people in the house, but unfortunately they had already passed away," says Capt. Dyer.

Neighbors say the victims were Charles and June Rybnikar.

"He was a nice fellow. He'd walk up the street quite a bit just about everyday. He'd come up there with his dog and run around the place and then head back," says Bill Ranes who lives just down the street.

Joseph Hess of the Greater Lansing United Nations Association says June Rybnikar volunteered at the organization's gift shop for several years.

"She really cared about people elsewhere in the world and did what she could to help people out. She was very unselfish and very dedicated, " says Hess.

"It kind of hurts to know they didn't make it out of there. I had a feeling all the way down here. When my son called and said he thought it was Chuck's house, I just had a strong feeling they didn't make it," says Ranes.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Kathy Location: Charlotte on Jun 23, 2007 at 08:43 PM
    My family and I would like to express our appreciation for all the kind words support we have recieved from the community, I know their friends will miss my parents as much as we do. It can't bring them back, but it does help with the pain.
  • by Peggy Location: Jackson on May 13, 2007 at 06:40 PM
    June was a Licensed Practical Nurse and for many, many years was very active in the Michigan Licensed Practical Nurses Association. She will be greatly missed by association members. This is very sad! My thoughts and prayers are with her family and frieds.
  • by Santiago Location: lansing's south side on May 12, 2007 at 09:17 PM
    i was the first one to be there while the house was on fire i were no fire trucks there and nobody was outside... but there were two older [drunk] guys comming from the drive way saying" it's too late" and i called 911...i tried to see if there was a way into the house or if anyone was in the house...i'm sorry for those who are grieving from this loss... but it's crazy that this house was on fire for at least 20-30 minutes before i even got there
  • by c Location: el on May 12, 2007 at 05:52 PM
    She was my best friend, like a Grandma to me. I'm going to miss June so much
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