Fire destroys Hesperia-area home

January 10, 2015

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

NEWFIELD TWP. — Battling a winter storm with single-digit temperatures, firefighters from six departments fought a blaze Friday afternoon, Jan. 9, that began in a residential garage and quickly spread to a single-story modular home.

The garage and home owned by George Golden, located at 8697 E. Parkton Lane along the White River, are a total loss, said Hesperia Assistant Fire Chief Bob Eichenberg. No one was injured, and the home and garage were insured.

“When we got to the scene, the garage was pretty much gone, and it extended into the house,” Eichenberg said. The garage was not attached to the home but separated by a 15-foot walkway, Eichenberg said. Hesperia and Ferry departments were initially dispatched to the scene shortly after 2 p.m. “We began to attack it,” he said. Because the fire occurred during the day, the assistant chief said there was a lack of manpower. Other departments were soon called in for mutual aid, including Fremont, White Cloud, Shelby and Walkerville.

Due to the frigid temperatures, firefighters experienced issues establishing a water source. They tried to pump water from the icy river but were unsuccessful, and the nearest hydrant was frozen. They established a water source approximately one and a half miles from the scene in the Village of Hesperia, where water was shuttled to the fire. “Weather and manpower were our biggest issues,” he said. Approximately 40 firefighters from the six departments were on scene, he said.

Stopping the fire from reaching the house proved difficult, because it was upwind from the garage, the assistant chief said.

The horrible road conditions caused by the storm also made it challenging for fire crews to respond quickly, he said.

The homeowner was inside the garage when the fire ignited, Eichenberg said, but he was not doing anything to cause the blaze, he said. The cause of the fire is unknown at this point, he said.

Golden’s wife and dog were inside the home and were able to safely get out, Eichenberg said. They were able to get their vehicles out of the garage, as well as several personal belongings from the home, he said.

Red Cross was called to the scene to help the family, and Pastor Bill Blount of the Hesperia Baptist Church arrived to assist. Blount said those wishing to help the Goldens, who are church members, can begin calling the church Monday, Jan. 12, at 231-854-5892. Right now, the family is in contact with the insurance company and is going through the process of determining their needs. Those wishing to help can also contact the local chapter of the Red Cross at 231-726-3555 beginning Monday.

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