Story and photos by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.
CUSTER — A husband and wife lost their home to fire this morning. Evelyn and Tom “Art” Wallager woke to fire at their house at 358 S. Baron Street shortly before 5 a.m. Tom said Evelyn woke him up and said the house was on fire. He said the two of them, along with their dog, immediately got out of the house. No one was injured.
Custer and Scottville fire departments were initially called. Custer Fire Capt. Darrell Crawford reported the house fully engulfed in flames as he arrived on scene. Custer Fire Chief John Allison, who lives about two miles away from the village, said he could see the smoke from his farm as he left for the fire.
Allison said the fire was difficult to contain at first. “We used our deck gun and it wasn’t even keeping up with the fire,” Allison said, adding the deck gun sprays 1,200 gallons of water a minutes. In addition to the house, at least two vehicles were damaged or destroyed by fire.
Tom Wallager said he believes the fire started from the area of the front porch. “There was a refrigerator out there plugged into an extension cord,” he said. Tom said they have owned the house for a long time but have only lived in it for the past 10 or 12 years. A family member said they own another home in the Tallman Lake area and will be able to stay there.
Deputies from Mason County Sheriff’s Office also responded.