Fire victim died on his birthday

December 31, 2012
Linda Holden holds a photograph Douglas Hill created for her.

Linda Holden holds a photograph Douglas Hill created for her.

BRANCH TWP. — Douglas Hill died in a house fire Sunday morning, on his 63rd birthday. He was a photographer, his specialty was scenic photographs that he displayed in a storefront in downtown Scottville. For many years, he worked for R&R Furniture, which later became Holden’s Home Emporium. Physical ailments prevented him from working, though; he had a heart condition, hip problems and recently was diagnosed with stage 2 pancreatic cancer.

“Douglas isn’t suffering anymore and I know that he’s with the Lord in heaven,” Linda Holden of Holden’s Home Emporium said. “He’s in a better place. He touched a lot of people when he was living and I believe his death will touch many people as well.

“Douglas was always full of questions and I’m sure he’s keeping God occupied with all his questions. He would always come into the store and ask my questions, a lot of times about a sermon he would hear. Now, his questions are being answered.

Linda said Douglas grew up in the Pentwater area, graduating in 1968. He moved away for awhile and when he came back, long-time family friends Curt and Madonna Schulz let him stay in Madonna’s parents house, next to theirs on East Hansen Road.

At 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Branch, Fountain and Custer fire departments were called to a structure fire at 5825 E. Hansen Rd. Though they were able to knock the fire down in about 20 minutes, it pretty much destroyed the home.

Madonna said her two dogs were also killed in the house, which her parents moved into in 1963; she said he had known Douglas since she was 5-years-old.

The Mason County Sheriff’s Office, in a press release, said the cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Story and photos by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

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