Lakeshore mansion leveled by massive fire.

August 3, 2020

Lakeshore mansion leveled by massive fire.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

BENONA TOWNSHIP — Multiple Oceana County fire departments battled a massive fire on the Lake Michigan shoreline Monday afternoon, Aug. 3. An over 4,000-square foot mansion was destroyed, and adjacent homes sustained damage, said Shelby-Benona Fire Chief Jack White.

No one was injured.

The fire began in the garage, which was underneath the house and then quickly spread to the home at 657 S. Glen Rd. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

Heavy, black smoke could be seen from miles away, and the fire attracted several onlookers.

“We didn’t have a prayer when we got here,” White said. “It was in the garage spreading to the house.”

The house was made of light-weight wood frame truss construction, White said.

“We probably blistered the paint on one truck,” said White of the intensity of the blaze.

The adjacent homes sustained exterior damage and possibly some interior damage as well, the chief said.

Communication between the firefighters was a major challenge. “Most of the time you couldn’t talk to anybody, because the radios don’t work out here.” There is little to no cell or radio service in the area. “I can’t talk to an engine that I can see.”

White did not have the home owner’s name immediately available as he was continuing to battle the blaze during a brief interview with OCP. Neighbors said the homeowners are from Chicago and had just left that morning to return to the city.

More information will be provided when it is available.

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