Hockey-playing Connolly brothers perish in house fire
Logan and Walter (Briggs) Connolly, who both played hockey, in a 2014 photo.
The Michigan hockey community is in mourning over the deaths of brothers Logan and Walter B. Connolly.
The pair – Logan was 11 and played for the East Side Bulldogs and Walter B. (known as Briggs) was 9 and played in the St. Clair Shores Hockey Association – died when their house in Grosse Pointe caught on fire on Monday morning.
According to the Detroit News, Logan and Walter B. were found overcome by smoke inhalation in their parents’ bedroom.
They were trying to escape the flames that had consumed the first floor of the house in the 700 block of Fisher Road between Kercheval and Mack at around 7:50 a.m., Monday.
The boys were the only children of Walter Connolly, a teacher at the International Academy in Bloomfield Hills, and his wife, Azucena Beltran-Connolly.
Walter Connolly was already at his job and his wife had left the home before the fire began, authorities said.
"They lost everything," neighbor and family representative Lynn Weber told The Detroit News. "Everybody wants to do something. They lost their only children ... their most precious children."
Well-wishers dropped off clothing, new shoes and other items for the family at Weber’s house, which is three houses away.
A social media campaign, using the hashtag #SticksOutForLoganAndBriggs, urged players to leave their hockey sticks propped against their homes in tribute.
There is also a GoFundMe campaign for the family – click here to go to the page.
The St. Clair Shores Hockey Association – via its website and the Michigan Amateur Hockey Association website – asked people to attend a prayer service "to mourn this tragic loss" Wednesday at St. Paul on the Lake in Grosse Pointe Farms. Hockey players were asked to wear their jerseys “as a sign of solidarity and support for the family.”
Grosse Point Public Safety said preliminary indications are that the fire started in the kitchen, possibly by the toaster.