Pets die in house fire.

January 25, 2018

Pets die in house fire.


By Allison Scarbrough. Editor.

HART TOWNSHIP — Four dogs and a cat died from smoke inhalation in a house fire at 55 W. Polk Road Thursday morning, Jan. 25.

The two-story home owned by Mary Rose Vanas may be salvageable, but it sustained interior smoke damage.

Vanas, who is the Shelby Public Schools Food Service Director, happened to call her 24-year-old daughter to remind her to take her medication just as the fire broke out, she said. Vanas said she may have averted a tragedy by calling her daughter who has autism. Her daughter told her over the phone that she smelled something burning, and Vanas instructed her to immediately get out of the house.

The fire started in the basement but the exact cause is not immediately known. “Our initial attack was in the basement,” said Hart Area Fire Chief Jack White. “The fire was confined to the basement and laundry chute.”

Firefighters from Hart, Shelby-Benona and Walkerville quickly extinguished the fire, which was dispatched shortly after 9 a.m.

Paramedics from Oceana County EMS tried to resuscitate the pets, but unfortunately none of them survived.

Vanas, who has lived in the home for over 10 years, said the house is insured.

Red Cross has been contacted to assist the family, and if anyone would like to offer help, they can contact Shelby Public Schools at 231-861-5211.

Shelby Superintendent Dan Bauer was at the scene, offering help and comfort to his employee. Bauer, who retires at the end of this month, is providing Vanas and her family his apartment for them to stay in temporarily. He had just moved out of the apartment in preparation for his retirement.

Vanas said she was extremely grateful for the kindness Bauer has shown her.

“She does so much for everybody,” Bauer said of Vanas. “I am totally saddened.”

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