RICHLAND TOWNSHIP — There was no saving a mobile home destroyed by fire Tuesday morning after a passerby spotted flames shooting through the roof of the home.
The Richland Township Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at 3130 N. Douglass Road south of McBride Road at 11:14 a.m.
According to Fire Chief Calvin Callison, he arrived to discover the home entirely engulfed in flames. He immediately called for mutual aid from the Crystal Township Fire Department.
Callison said there was “no chance” at saving the structure.
“It was the best we could do in the cold,” he said. “We fought it defensively, there was nothing left to go inside for.”
Callison said there was no one home at the time of the fire and no one was injured.
According to Callison, the cold conditions and icy roads made it “very difficult” for firefighters to drive their trucks to the scene of the fire.
“There was cold, cold and more cold,” he said. “It was pretty slow going on the roads. There’s not much you can do about that.”
According to the National Weather Service, the temperature in the Vestaburg area at the time of the fire was minus 4 degrees with a wind chill of minus 22.
Callison said firefighters fought the fire for nearly four hours and while the cold weather didn’t create and difficulties with equipment or fire hoses, he said the freezing temperatures take a toll on the firefighters.
“Everything just freezes up, your jacket, your gloves, everything,” he said. “We didn’t have any problems with any machinery, but the guys are frozen solid and it’s slippery.”
Callison said the home is a total loss. He remains unsure of what started the fire, though he does not believe it to be suspicious.
“We haven’t really determined a cause and probably won’t,” he said. “Nobody reported the fire until it was fully engulfed and the home was not insured.”
Montcalm County EMS and the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office assisted on scene.