BUSHNELL TOWNSHIP — An electrical fire that is believed to have begun in the bedroom of a woman’s home was successfully extinguished Thursday before the fire could spread throughout the rest of the residence.
Shellane McDaniel said she was in her home around 1 p.m. at 7607 Staines road when she smelled what she described as “wires burning.”
She then proceeded to check throughout her home and said she saw black smoke outside of her porch window.
McDaniel said she called 911 immediately, grabbed her dogs and ran out of the house.
“I’m alright,” she said standing outside of her home as firefighters from the Sheridan Community and Crystal Township fire departments worked to extinguish the fire. “Me and my dogs were the only ones inside and we made it out OK.”
As for the cause of the fire, McDaniel said her neighbors, who spotted the fire from across the road, told her that the fire started from the electrical meter on the side of her home.
“My neighbors said the consumers box on the side of the house caught fire,” she said.
But according to Sheridan Community Fire Chief Ed Lingeman, he believes the fire started from inside McDaniel’s bedroom, but didn’t rule out the possibility of the exterior electrical box causing the fire.
“I think it was an electrical problem, whether it be a dropped cord or some sort of short circuit,” he said. “The homeowner was home in the living room and noticed the smell of smoke. I believe the fire started right in the bedroom.”
Lingeman said when his department arrived on scene at approximately 1:16 p.m., smoke was rising from the home but no flames were showing.
“When we arrived on scene there was smoke showing from the eaves on the southwest corner of the house,” he said. “We extinguished (the exterior fire) and made our way into the house. We found the extension of the fire (inside) and our guys did a great job of knocking (the fire) down.”
Lingeman said the effort to extinguish the fire was fairly routine for a structure fire and approximately 4,000 gallons of water was used on scene.
“The firefighters, response time and cooperation between the departments were all good today.”
However, Lingeman said there was a slight delay as firefighters waited for consumers energy to cut power to the home in order to safely approach a portion of the fire.
“We couldn’t do a lot with that area where the fire was showing because (the home) was still energized,” he said. “We contacted (Consumers Energy) as soon as we left the fire barn because the information we received from dispatch was that it was an electrical fire. They arrived on scene and terminated the power to the residence.”
According to Lingeman, the majority of the home was saved, with smoke, water and some fire damage spread throughout other areas of the house.
“It’s still standing and most of the contents within the house on the main floor, other than in the bedroom, are still intact,” he said. “There’s smoke and water damage, but most of the electronics and physical items are still good. Structure-wise and with rebuilding, she should be OK.
McDaniel said her home was insured, but said certain items from her side-business, titled Creative Warmups, in which McDaniel sews quilts and afghans, were destroyed in the fire.
“I watched as they all went up in flames,” she said.
McDaniel said she has a place to stay temporarily with a friend down the road from her own home.
Montcalm County EMS assisted on scene.