Beloved, animal-loving couple killed in northwest Oklahoma City house fire

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OKLAHOMA CITY - A couple married more than 50 years passed away in an early morning fire on Tuesday.

The fire broke out at the home of Joan and Jerry Manning near Northwest 122nd and Council Road.

Joan spoke with Oklahoma's News 4 about the death of one of her horses back in August of 2016.

It was their passion for horses that people remember most about Joan and her husband.

“What a nice couple would die like that,” said friend John Letham.

Emergency crews raced to the couple’s home to find the home on fire.

“They did have heavy flames coming from the garage area of the home, and there was also a car in the driveway that was well involved too,” said Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson.

Once inside, crews found Joan unresponsive in the kitchen.

“They preformed CPR for a while and, unfortunately, the adult female passed. Fire attack was taking place at this point as well as a secondary search. On the secondary search, they located an adult male,” Fulkerson said.

Joan's husband, Jerry, was found not too far from her body.

“Very hard, because they were super nice people who were loved by everybody,” Letham said.

Letham said he knew the couple well. He's been training Joan's horses for 45 years.

“Joan was an avid animal lover,” he said.

Unfortunately, in the fire, three of the couple's cats died as well. But, Letham wants the community to remember the couple for the love they had for animals and others.

“Always very outgoing, never caused anybody any problems,” Letham said.

Now, fire crews are left investigating to see how the fire started.

“If we have a fire in a home and someone loses their life, the police department homicide unit and the Oklahoma City Fire Department investigators jointly investigate,” Fulkerson said.

Fire rescue was able to save two cats and two dogs. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.