Gowen home suffers minor damage after fire spreads from burn pile

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:22 am on Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Spencer Township Fire Department firefighters work to put out the hot spots after a fire from a burn pile quickly spread to a house. The homeowners had four boats that were damaged and about $1,000 worth of damage to their home. However, no one was injured. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

SPENCER TOWNSHIP — Flames from a burn pile quickly spread to multiple boats and a house leaving minor damage to a Gowen home on Monday afternoon.

The Spencer Township Fire Department was dispatched just after 1:30 p.m.  to 16192 Larsen Ave. on a report of a boat and structure fire.

“It started from a burn pile,” said Fire Chief Alan Wright.

He said the fire quickly spread through a small brush and grass area and caught the side of the house on fire along with some of the resident’s boats.

“There were two canoes, one fishing boat and one sail-type boat that were damaged,” Wright said. “There is about $1,000 worth of damage to the side of the house.”

No one was injured during the fire.

Neighbors Greg Newell and Dick Deupree said they knew their neighbor was burning items, but they realized something had gone wrong when they noticed dark smoke coming from the home.

“It was very dark black smoke,” Newell said.

Newell said he and Deupree ran over to see what was going on. Once 911 was called, they ran inside to make sure the residents were out and to grab their beagle dog from the home as well.

“You can replace everything else,” said Newell of making sure everyone was safely out of the home.

Deupree and Newell started using water buckets to try to extinguish the fire and stop it from spreading until the fire department arrived.

“Spencer Township Fire Department did a nice job,” Deupree said.

The township requested mutual aid from Montcalm Township and Maple Valley Township fire departments, but they were later called off once the fire was extinguished.

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