FAIRPLAIN TOWNSHIP — Erven and Shirley Brokaw sat in their mini van Friday and watched their house burn down.
“I guess we’re going to put in a double-wide,” Shirley said. “We own the land. It’s just we have to start over.”
The blaze started just before 5 p.m. at 1120 W. Boyer Road in Fenwick on the home’s front porch. Shirley saw the fire and pushed her husband Erven out of the back door in his wheelchair.
A son with two children, including a 2-month-old, were living at the house as well, and daughter Brandi Brokaw had dropped her 2-year-old off at the house for her parents to watch for the weekend.
The family also had three dogs which are all safe, but Shirley said they may need temporary homes.
“They all got out safe,” Shirley’s sister Elaine Lake said. “They just need to readjust.”
Sheridan Community Fire Chief Ed Lingeman called Ronald Township Fire Department and the Greenville Department of Public Safety for mutual aid.
The three fire departments fought the flames defensively, and they ended up calling the Montcalm Township Fire Department for water. Montcalm County Emergency Services was at the scene as well.
“The wind was a factor today,” said Sheridan Community Assistant Fire Chief Mark Ellsworth as smoke blew around a firetruck. “You can’t combat.”
The fire took firefighters more than two hours to extinguish. The home is a total loss.
“A loss is a loss,” Brandi said. “I’m just glad everyone is OK.”