GREENVILLE — A Greenville man is now without the majority of his possessions, and likely his home, after he returned from work this afternoon to the surprise of firefighters working to extinguish a fire at his residence.
At approximately 2:30 p.m., firefighters and officers from the Greenville Department of Public Safety were dispatched to 1002 Davis Dr., a residence in the Pondview Estates mobile home park.
According to Sgt. Dennis Magirl, flames were showing upon arrival and once enough firefighters were on scene, the fire was fought offensively from within the structure.
“We let it sit until we had enough people here,” he said. “Then we were able to open the doors and go in with water so we weren’t feeding air to the fire. The fire was contained to the back and the structure is a long cylinder, which made fighting and containing it easier.”
Magirl said the fire was likely caused by a hot water heater located in the rear of the home, though he added that the fire is still under investigation and is not considered suspicious.
“Our initial thought was in regards to the water heater, but we don’t know for sure” he said. “But we’re putting out the hot spots now and we’ll get investigators in there afterward.”
No one was home when the fire started, which was spotted by neighbors who called 911. No one was injured on scene.
Lone resident Robert Tompsett arrived home from work and could only watch from his car as smoke billowed from his home.
Tompsett said he has lived at the residence for six years and does not have insurance.
“I think it was the water heater,” he said. “It was in the back. I had everything in there, and now it’s all gone.”
Tompsett said he will be able to stay with his daughter, Melanie Tompsett, temporarily.
“He doesn’t have anything, all of his stuff is gone,” she said. “All of his clothes were in the back bedroom, along with his rifles and all of his hunting stuff.”
With the water heater located in the bathroom and the bedroom adjacent, both rooms sustained significant damage from the fire.
Tompsett said he would appreciate any donations of clothing or food. Anyone wishing to contact Tompsett can reach his daughter at (616) 225-7935.
Firefighters were able to successfully prevent the fire from spreading into the rest of the homeor to neighboring mobile home, which Magirl said can be accredited to the location of the fire within the residence.
“The location of the fire was what helped the most,” he said. “It was at one end of the trailer and we were able to approach from the opposite end and contain it.”
The Belding Fire Department was called in for mutual aid due to the time of day that the fire occurred. Magirl said many on-call firefighters were either working or picking their children up from school.
Montcalm County Emergency Medical Services also assisted on scene.
Traffic on Walnut Street was shut down for approximately one hour while firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.