Fire destroys barn, burns nearby house.

April 6, 2018

Fire destroys barn, burns nearby house.#MasonCountyNews.

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

RIVERTON TOWNSHIP — A garage/barn was destroyed by fire Friday night at the Albaitis residence at 3525 W. Hawley Road. Initial dispatch information stated the structure was a barn and the fire was spreading to the nearby house. Riverton Township Fire Chief Joe Cooper said the fire seared the southwest corner of the house but did not cause any further damage. The garage/barn was destroyed before the fire departments arrived on scene. Firefighters were dispatched about 8:15 p.m. to the property just west of Morton Road.

Cooper said the fire was discovered by a Michigan Department of Natural Resources conservation officer and the home owners were not home at the time of the fire. He said the building was fully engulfed in flames when the officer discovered the fire.

A long and narrow uphill driveway that was covered in ice caused issues for the firefighters as one of the water tankers got stuck backing down to refill. The stuck truck caused a delay in firefighting efforts.

Responding to the fire were Riverton Township Fire Department and Pere Marquette Township Fire Department. Ludington Fire Department was dispatched to fill trucks at a nearby pond. Mason County Sheriff’s Office closed Hawley Road down near the fire.

The building’s contents included family photographs, machine shop equipment, weight lifting equipment, a boat and many other items. “Basically it was a ‘man cave,'” Cooper said, adding that he has not been able to determine a cause yet.

As of posting, 8:55 p.m., firefighters were still on scene and the road remained closed. 

UPDATE: All fire units cleared the scene at 10:58 p.m.

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