Trufant basement fire quickly extinguished, no one injured


By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:31 pm on Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Firefighters wait in the front yard of the residence at 115 First St. in Trufant Monday evening as a precaution as firefighters check the home to assure a fire that began in the basement of the home is completely extinguished. — Daily News/Cory Smith

TRUFANT — A family of six is resting peacefully at a nearby friend’s home today after firefighters successfully contained and extinguished a fire in the basement of their Trufant home.

Melissa Portell and her husband, Jeremy Portell, along with their four children, were home at their residence at 115 W. First St. when Melissa discovered a fire in the basement.

“We were all upstairs,” she said. “I walked by the basement stairs and there were flames coming up the stairs.”

Melissa Portell quickly gathered everyone out of the house, which also included a few friends, before calling 911.

Maple Valley Township Fire Chief Dan Kain said smoke was coming from the basement of the home upon arrival to the structure fire after the department was dispatched at 5:16 p.m., Monday evening.

Firefighters return to their trucks Monday evening in Trufant after responding to a structure fire at 115 First St. — Daily News/Cory Smith

“We got here quick, right after we were called in for the structure fire,” he said. “On arrival, we found a basement full of smoke with a fire in the corner of the room. We sent in our first crew, an attack line into the basement, and we were able to extinguish the fire.”

The fire managed to burn “a little bit” through the ceiling and into the first floor of the home, according to Kain.

The cause of the fire is unknown and is still under investigation. No one was injured on scene.

As soon as the fire was extinguished, firefighters began ventilating the home to clear smoke and gasses out of the residence.

“There’s smoke damage, as the heavy smoke carried up into the attack,” Kain said, “but we were able to contain and extinguish the fire well before it was able to spread to the rest of the house.”

The home is insured, according to Partell.

Lakeview District Fire Department, Montcalm County EMS and the Michigan State Police assisted on scene.

Fire trucks from the Maple Valley Township and Lakeview District fire departments sit parked on First Street in Trufant Monday evening in response to a structure fire. — Daily News/Cory Smith

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