BATTLE CREEK, Mich. — Battle Creek fire and police departments are jointly investigating a residential fire that led to the discovery of a homicide at the same residence, which occurred Tuesday evening on Laurel Drive.
Battle Creek Fire Department was dispatched to a fire inside of a residence in the 200 block of Laurel Drive at approximately 5 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 27.
BCFD arrived on the scene to a two-story residential structure to find fire had spread throughout the first floor, with heavy fire concentrated at the rear of the residence. The fire was brought under control within 30 minutes of BCFD arriving on the scene. During fire suppression, and search and rescue tactics, a victim was found lying on a couch in the front, living area of the residence. When the victim was removed from the residence by BCFD, he was already deceased.
Battle Creek Police were called to the scene to assist in the investigation. The victim was identified as Randall Hurt, a 61-year-old resident of Battle Creek. During the investigation, Hurt was found to have multiple injuries that were not consistent with injuries normally sustained from a fire. Several hours after the incident began, investigators identified a person of interest. Detectives determined that the person of interest was a relative and had committed an act of domestic violence, resulting in the death of the victim. The suspect is currently lodged at the Calhoun County Jail and open murder charges will be submitted to the Calhoun County Prosecutor’s Office for review.
One BCFD firefighter sustained injury at the time of this incident. The BCFD firefighter was treated for care and released at Bronson Battle Creek Hospital. During the course of the investigation, a dog was also retrieved by the BCPD animal control unit. The pet was not harmed, and was removed from the scene for shelter and care.
The fire investigation shows the origin of the fire to be located in the back, laundry room area of the residence. Michigan State Police were also called to the scene to provide an accelerant dog to assist in the investigation.
This BCFD/BCPD joint investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact the Battle Creek Police Department at, 269-781-0911, or Silent Observer at, 269-964-3888.