Fire damages Grant Twp. house

February 8, 2012 photos by ROB ALWAY editor


GRANT TWP. – A Free Soil area man is homeless today after fire severely damaged his East Treml Road house.


I was getting ready to lay down for a bit when I noticed smoke near my woodstove,” Jim Perry said on the scene. “.I didn’t have a fire in the stove but then I saw flames. So, I found my dog, called 911 and got out of the house.”


Grant Township and Free Soil/Meade fire departments were the first called to the scene. Grant Fire Chief Ron Melchert said the first officer on the scene reported smoke coming from the back side of the house. “I arrived four minutes later and the house was completely engulfed,” Melchert said. “The kitchen windows blew right out.”


Melchert called for backup from Fountain Area Fire Department and later Scottville, Custer and Hamlin departments. Mason County Road Commission was also called to drop sand on the road, which was icing up.



Grant Twp. Fire Chief Ron Melchert talks to home owner Jim Perry

Melchert said the fire appeared to have started in the chimney near the woodstove.


Over an hour into the initial call, flames were coming from the peak of the roof.


This is an old house , built in the ’30s or ’40s and those walls go straight up from the basement to the top floor. It’s difficult to put the fire out in a situation like this. You just can’t get to it.”


Perry said he has lived in the house for 15 years. He lives alone and is on a lot of medication, which was damaged in the fire. However, paramedics from Life EMS were on scene to help him replace his medications.


Melchert said he asked for the West Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross to assist Perry in finding shelter. Perry said the house was insured.


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