Howard City area family loses dog in Wednesday fire


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:10 am on Thursday, February 07, 2013

REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — A dry Christmas tree is to blame for starting an early morning fire that left a family’s home a total loss.

The Howard City Fire Department responded to a structure fire at about 7:49 a.m. Wednesday at 11687 N. Gordon Road in Newaygo.

According to Montcalm County property tax information, the house is owned by Susan Hayman.

Fire Chief Randy Heckman said a Christmas tree was still up inside the home. After sending her children off to school, the mother turned the lights on around the tree and laid back down.

“When she woke up, the house was full of smoke,” Heckman said. “We are assuming because the tree was dry that is what started the fire.”

The homeowner made it out of the house, but the family’s dog was unable to.

Although no one was hurt during the fire, the mother was taken to the hospital to be treated for cuts she sustained when trying to get items out of the house.

“The house, which was a doublewide, is a total loss,” Heckman said.

The department returned back to the fire station at about 10:30 a.m.

The homeowners did have insurance.

The Howard City Fire Department was called back to the scene Wednesday afternoon on a call smoke was coming for the building.

However, Heckman said it was just steam and they returned back to the department.

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