UPDATE: Investigators name possible victims in fatal Portage Township fire

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Published: Jan. 8, 2022 at 9:16 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 13, 2022 at 10:45 AM EST
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PORTAGE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLUC) - UPDATE: Investigators believe the remains found from the house fire in Portage Township Jan. 7 are of husband and wife 32-year-old John Makela and 27-year-old Breanna Makela.

On Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, at approximately 9:16 p.m., troopers were dispatched to a structure fire in Portage Township with reports of two individuals being trapped inside. Two persons were found deceased inside the residence. An autopsy has been performed and the results are still pending.

A positive identification has yet to be made. Family members of the Makela’s have been contacted by investigators. The coroner is attempting to use dental records and DNA to positively identify the remains.

UPDATE JAN. 9, 2022 7:41 PM: Two people have been confirmed dead after a house fire in Portage Township Friday night.

According to the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office, their identities are being withheld until positive identification is determined through autopsies scheduled later this week.

The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.

Original story: Two people are presumed to be dead after a house fire in Houghton County Friday night.

According to the Michigan State Police Calumet Post, troopers responded around 9:15 p.m. to a fire in Portage Township with reports of two people trapped inside the residence. The MSP has not released the home’s location.

Police say one person is confirmed dead, and another is believed to be dead, but has yet to be located. No names have been released.

Other responding agencies include the Houghton County Sheriff’s Office, Otter Lake Fire Department, Mercy EMS, Stanton Township Fire Department, Hurontown Fire Department and Chassell Fire Department.

An investigation to determine the cause of the fire is being handled by the MSP Eighth District Fire Investigator. The Houghton County Medical Examiner was called to the scene as well.

This story will be updated when more information is released.

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