GARY, Ind. -- Authorities say a father and son were killed when their home caught fire in Gary Thursday morning. The victims were identified as 94-year-old John Berry and 47-year-old Darrick Berry.
The Berry's are a big loving family who have many warm and loving memories of John and Darrick. The younger Berry moved into his father's home on 21 Avenue when his mom died three years ago to take care of him. They were inseparable.
"He was a good son. He was gonna take care of his dad no matter what. If you saw him, you saw Darrick," said family friend Sheila Williams.
John Berry was a deacon at his church, always reading the Bible, a pillar of the community. His family says everyone knew him and loved him.
"I grew up down the street so I was always in and out of this house," said cousin Cynthia Lovick. "John was like a father to me...John was always there."
John was like that -- a surrogate father to any child who needed him. His son Pastor Benny Berry had been preparing for his father's death for several years now. He was, after all, 94. It's how he died that's difficult to understand.
"So I was kind of OK with it this morning. The only thing that got me was the method. Why did you use a fire? I don't understand that, God. That's my question. Why the fire?" Benny Berry said.
John's son knows how devoted he was to God and his family. and regardless of how he died they know how he lived.
"I'm proud to say that he was my dad," Benny Berry said.
The fire marshall said there were no smoke detectors in this home. If there were, John and Darrick Berry may have had a fighting chance.