Investigation underway for cause of deadly house fire 


The house that caught on fire at 1026 Lincoln Ave. on Monday, Jan. 8. The fire claimed the lives of Krista Urbanc and Zachary Johnson. Photo by: Lindsey Eaton

Winter Keefer

Police are investigating the cause of a fire that claimed the lives of two former NMU students on Jan 8. The bodies of 22-year-old Krista Urbanc and 23-year-old Zachary Johnson were found inside a home at 1026 Lincoln Ave., according to the Marquette Police Department. The two victims lived together in the house.

According to the dean of students office, Urbanc and Johnson last attended NMU in the
winter semester of 2015. Urbanc was from Iron Mountain, Michigan and was planning on pursuing a degree in veterinary science, according to her obituary. Prior to attending NMU, Urbanc attended Bay College where she received her
CNA certificate.

The obituary also said that Urbanc and Johnson were in a relationship.

“Krista had a beautiful smile and was a lovely person inside and out. She made friends easily and was loved by everyone,” Urbanc’s obituary said.

According to Johnson’s obituary, he was from Marquette and graduated from Marquette High School. At the time of his death, he was employed with the Gundlach Champion Construction Co. as a union carpenter.
“Zach loved working, often having two or three jobs at once, for both the joy of the labor, but also because of his commitment to supporting his family.”

Both obituaries expressed that the couple cared about animals.
Johnson’s obituary encouraged those wishing to make an expression of sympathy to consider donating to UPAWS.