Firefighters able to keep Epworth cottage fire from damaging others.

September 19, 2020

Firefighters able to keep Epworth cottage fire from damaging others.

PERE MARQUETTE TOWNSHIP — Firefighters from three departments were called to a cottage fire at Epworth Heights early this morning, Saturday, Sept. 19. The cottage was located along the lakeshore and was in close proximity to other cottages. 

Ludington Fire Department was initially dispatched to the scene at 1:47 a.m. Upon arrival Funk reported the cottage was fully engulfed. Pere Marquette Township Fire Department and Hamlin Township Fire Department also assisted. 

Funk said the fire completely destroyed the historic cottage. The resident, who he said has owned the cottage for several decades, was home at the time of the fire and was able to get out safely.

Firefighters were challenged by the winding, narrow roads through the gated resort, and also the inability to get a fire truck near the cottage. They also were challenged because of the closeness of the cottages.

“We had to drag hose at least 500 feet along the walkway,” Funk said. “We also utilized Harbor 1 fire and rescue boat which fought the fire from Lake Michigan. Some of the nearby cottages were scorched a little bit but we were able to detain the fire to just the one cottage.” Funk said the fire is under investigation but the state fire marshal will not be called in. He said the fire department left several hoses at the scene in case the fire re-ignites.

Funk, who has been on Ludington Fire Department for 50 years, said this was only the second fully engulfed house fire at Epworth in the past 50 years, the other one was in the early ’70s. “That’s pretty good considering how close those cottages are to each other,” he said. “We’ve had minor fire calls out there, but nothing like this one in many years.”

Though Epworth Heights is in Pere Marquette Township, the association has an agreement with the City of Ludington for its fire department to be the first responding fire department for fires.

Firefighters cleared the scene about 6 a.m.

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