Monday, November 2, 2009

Elderly couple, son die in house fire

Oralandar Brand-Williams / The Detroit News
Ann Arbor -- An elderly couple and their son died in a house fire on the city's west side Sunday.
Firefighters were finishing up from responding to another fire call when they were called to a home on the 1700 block of Waverly Street. When they arrived at the home around 3 a.m., they found it engulfed in flames. Within five minutes of their arrival, the walls and roof of the structure collapsed.
Fire officials did not release the names of the victims, but they were identified by neighbors as Demetri and Joanna Alexandropoulos and their 42-year-old son John. According to public records, Demetri Alexandropoulos was 78 and Joanna Alexandropoulos was 82.
Neighbors said it was hard for firefighters to get to them.
"The home was so engulfed in flames that (firefighters) couldn't get in," said Barbara Richter, a longtime neighbor of the victims.
An initial search of the home did not turn up the victims. But a later search by Ann Arbor firefighters, police and Michigan State Police investigators using cadaver dogs found the victims Sunday afternoon.
Richter said fire investigators told her the fire may have started in the basement of the home.
Demetrius Alexandropoulos was a chef who used to own a restaurant on State Street near the University of Michigan campus called Joanna's. He also worked at Jonathan's restaurant on Jackson Street, according to Richter. (313) 222-2027