Howard City area family safely escapes Monday morning blaze


By Emilee Nielsen • Last Updated 12:12 pm on Thursday, May 18, 2017

REYNOLDS TOWNSHIP — A family of five is safe after waking to find their home on fire early Monday morning.

At 3:36 a.m. at 7240 N. Dagget Road, firefighters from the Howard City Fire Department responded to the report of a structure fire at a single-story residence.

Upon arriving on the scene, Howard City Fire Chief Randy Heckman said the structure was fully involved, with half of the home covered in flames. But thankfully the residents — a husband, wife and three children — had escaped before the fire consumed the home.

“The family members got up, one was in the bathroom, the other in the kitchen, and they saw flames,” Heckman said. “They tried to put it out, but it grew too quickly, and they said they heard some kind of explosion.”

Heckman said his department attacked the fire defensively, receiving assistance from the Croton Township Fire Department with water tankers.

A cause of the fire has not yet been determined, though Heckman does not believe the cause to be suspicious in nature.

“The investigator is going to be out there yet this week to investigate it. At this point it is still undetermined,” he said.

Heckman said he believes the fire started just inside the doorway of the home’s front door.

According to Heckman, the home was insured.

“There’s no good thing when it comes to a house fire, but having young children in the home, it could have been a lot worse,” he said. “Since it was fully involved and everyone was out, it was a defensive attack, and my guys did a great job (of putting the fire out).”

Firefighters were called to the scene again at 7:13 a.m. to a possible rekindle.

“There was still some smoke, and the house was full of a lot of stuff, so we told the homeowners that we were going to go back and clean up,” Heckman said. “It was steaming pretty good.

Montcalm County EMS assisted on scene.

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