Structures, vehicles destroyed by fire.

March 24, 2015

decker_road_fire_032415011decker_road_fire_032415007By Rob Alway. Editor-in-Chief.

BRANCH TWP. — Two structures and several other items were destroyed by fire Tuesday afternoon at 8349 E. Decker Rd. Property owner Carl Klepser said he was burning papers in a burning barrel and thought the fire was extinguished. He went inside his home and then heard a popping noise. When he came out, he discovered his yard on fire, with the fire moving close to a propane tank, an abandoned house and a shed.

decker_road_fire_032415010Branch Twp. Fire Dept. was called to the scene, which was initially reported as a grass fire. While en-route, Mason-Oceana 911 dispatch informed firefighters that the fire had spread to the abandoned house. Custer Twp. and Fountain Area fire department were then called to assist.

The fire started on the southwest side of the property and spread east and north, the wind direction was variable. Firefighters were able to prevent the fire from hitting the propane tank, which Klepser said was about 65% full. However, fire did also damage at least two abandoned vehicles and some boats.

decker_road_fire_032415012The U.S. Forest Service also assisted on the scene.

Branch Fire Chief Steve McVicker said the fire did not appear to be suspicious and he would most likely issue a warning to the homeowner. This was the second brush fire in three days that resulted in burning of an abandoned structure. McVicker said homeowners should use caution when burning and should also verify that burning is permitted.  

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