VESTABURG — A home in downtown Vestaburg was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning after the homeowner discovered smoke while preparing Thanksgiving dinner.
Firefighters from four fire departments were still on scene of a structure fire at 7315 F Ave., just a few blocks west of Vestaburg Community High School, where they they were dispatched at 10:01 a.m. this morning.
Richland Township Fire Chief Calvin Callison said when he arrived on scene the house was ‘totally involved’ adding that there was no saving the home.
“This was totally a defense fire,” Callison said. “We just can’t get inside right now and can only attack the fire from the outside.”
Callison said the cause of the fire is not known at this time.
Homeowner Michele Steed was home preparing Thanksgiving dinner when she said she smelled smoke. She exited the home, and within moments, the house was ablaze.
Steed said she lost her cat, Dotty, in the fire, but no one else was home at the time of the fire.
“We aren’t going to be able to save anything,” Steed said. “I have lived in that house for 16 years, you can’t replace everything.”
Steed lived at the home with her brother and two sons.
Firefighters had difficulty fighting the fire due to a natural gas leak inside the home that resulted in flames shooting into the air.
Crewman from Consumers Energy arrived on scene and, using an excavator, were able to shut off the gas main and stop the leak.
The Richland Township, Crystal Township, Home Township, and Day Township fire departments assisted on scene. Montcalm County EMS and the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office also assisted on scene.