Woman Learns of Fire at Home, Husband's Death From Ring Alert at Work

"It's unbearable," said Brenda Johnson, whose husband died in the early morning Chicago blaze. "I’ve been with him for so long I just don't know how I'm going to live without him."

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A Chicago woman was at work early Tuesday when she learned via an alert from her Ring camera that her home was on fire and her husband of 30 years was inside.

Brenda Johnson received the alert around 3 a.m. When she looked at the video, Johnson said she saw the Chicago Fire Department taking her doors off the hinges. She later learned firefighters had found her husband, John Stanley Johnson Jr., dead inside.

"My Ring camera told me there was motion at my door," Johnson said. "I wasn’t getting a good connection. I called police to do a well-being check for me."

Chicago Fire Department spokesman Larry Langford said an electrical issue may have started the blaze at the couple's home at 85th and Whipple streets. One smoke alarm was found near the front door, but Langford said it didn't go off properly because of a low battery.

When firefighters entered the home, they found Johnson Jr. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"It's unbearable," Johnson said. "I’ve been with him for so long I just don't know how I'm going to live without him. It's so much. I just can't take it all in right now. It’s a lot."

Johnson worked the overnight shift so she could take care of her husband during the day. Her husband had limited mobility and relied on a cane and scooter to get around.

The couple had been together for 50 years and married for 30.
Johnson was a retired building inspector for the City of Chicago. He would have turned 78 in March. He was the father of seven children.

The Chicago Fire Department handed out smoke detectors in the neighborhood.

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