AP NEWS

Fire destroys Dewey Road home

May 28, 2019

VICTORY TWP. — It started with a glimpse of red — flames seen flickering through a bathtub drain — and ended, hours later, in the loss of a home on West Dewey Road.

“One of the (homeowners) said she had just taken a shower and noticed flames by the bottom of the hot water heater,” Scottville Fire Chief Dale Larr said of the fire that engulfed a single-wide trailer at 86 W. Dewey Road on Saturday. “They could see the flames underneath the drain in the tub.”

He said it had been burning for a some time, and was beginning to melt the plastic piping beneath the bathtub by the time the owners noticed.

“(They) said it seemed to spread really fast,” Larr said.

It took hours for firefighters from throughout the county, working in hot and humid conditions, to sufficiently snuff out the blaze. By the time they did, it was too late.

Larr said the 86 W. Dewey Road property was “a total loss.”

The fire, which was reported by dispatchers shortly after 11 a.m., continued to burn and smolder at the home until well into the afternoon.

“It was probably a good two-and-a-half hours to get it down where we had it under control,” Larr said.

The Scottville, Hamlin, Fountain, Custer and Branch fire departments all responded to the scene, and worked to save what they could of the modified mobile home, but they met with constant logistical challenges, Larr said.

“It was a single-wide trailer with a couple add-on sections, and it was hard to get in to some of those areas,” he said. “It was a challenge to get where we really needed to get to fight the fire.

“The roof had dropped down, so we didn’t want to take a chance on going in there … because the chance of it caving in was too great, so it was a defensive attack from the outside.”

Firefighters labored to pry apart sections of the roof at the front of the home, attempting to reach and wash out the flames spreading on the inside of the structure, while others approached from the back and the right side, tearing down the siding of the add-on unit to access the interior of the home.

“The fire was in-between the roof and the header along the right side, so we had to pull quite a bit of that away to get to where the fire was,” he said.

Larr added, “it was a complete loss of property.”

Larr said firefighters on the scene “tried multiple times” to subdue the flames, only to have them appear again and again.

“It’s disappointing when you’re fighting that long and you can’t get it knocked down,” he said. “They lost everything.”

Luckily, help is available through the Mason County Fire Relief Fund, and Larr said arrangements were made on Saturday to have a check issued to the family for help with clothing and accommodations.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Ludington Daily News print or e-Edition.

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