Family struggles to understand deaths
Family members said both women will be remembered as caring and giving people.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF
GIRARD -- Family members are still trying to understand why a mother and daughter chose to end their lives.
City police have concluded that the deaths of Alice Fire, 76, and Mary Fire, 46, came about after a murder-suicide pact or double suicide. Police Chief Frank Bigowsky said the investigation is closed unless the coroner's office finds something unusual.
"Some things found at the scene make it pretty obvious," he said. Letters were found addressed to family members.
John Fire, Alice Fire's ex-husband and Mary Fire's father, said those letters are the key to the family's understanding exactly what happened in the Steel Street home.
"I wish I understood why this happened, but it's all tied up in those notes they left," he said. "We just need to see those notes."
Patty Fire, Alice Fire's daughter and sister to Mary Fire, also is waiting to see what final thoughts were left in the letters. She said reading those letters will be the only way the family can come to terms with what has happened.
"Hopefully they do give us the letters so we can have some closure," she said.
Patty Fire said she spoke with Alice and Mary Fire shortly before they were found in the home. She said her sister was a little depressed over lack of employment and other personal issues, but nothing that would suggest potential suicide.
Until they have answers to their questions, family members say they will focus on the good memories and wonderful personalities of both women.
John and Patty Fire said Alice and Mary Fire were warm-hearted giving people who would do anything to help others.
"My daughter was always looking to do something for someone else," he said. "If you drank a glass of coffee, she would be the one to rinse [the glass] out."
Family members went to the Steel Street home and found a grim scene. Looking through the outside windows, both women could be seen lying on a couch, but would not answer the door.
Family members called the police who, with orders from Bigowsky, kicked in the front door. Alice Fire's face was covered with a pillow with two bullet holes in it. Mary Fire was lying to her left with a gunshot wound to the mouth. Between the two women lay a gun, ammunition and the letters.
Bigowsky confirmed several letters addressed to family members were found at the scene and collected as evidence, but he would not say what those letters contained or when they would be released to the family.