AMBER TOWNSHIP — A structure fire in a pole barn drew firefighters from Scottville, Custer and Pere Marquette Township fire departments to a West Johnson Road home Friday afternoon, and while no there were no injuries in the blaze, Scottville Fire Chief Dale Larr said the damage to the barn itself was substantial.
The fire was reported at 1:11 p.m. at 791 W. Johnson Road between Gordon and LaSalle roads, and Scottville Fire arrived on the scene just in time to prevent further damage, according to Larr.
“We got here in time to start pushing the fire into itself so it didn’t get to a (separate lean-to), or to the house,” Larr told the Daily News. “It’s good we were able to get here in time to save the house, because it was pretty close.”
Larr said the wind was in their favor.
“The wind ... kind of helped push it from going that way. There’s not a whole lot of wind, but a little bit helps.”
Larr indicated that the homeowner — who was alone in the house at the time — was asleep when the fire started.
The fire is believed to have originated with a woodstove, though Larr said the cause has yet to be determined definitively.
“The owner had a woodstove in there. That’s the only source of heat ... so it sounds like that could be the problem,” he said.
Scottville Fire was the first to arrive at the scene, and Larr said that when Custer units were en route, it became clear that additional help would be required to beat back the flames.
“They called Custer too, it was a dual-tone,” Larr said. “(Custer Fire Chief) Larry Crawford could see smoke from the station, so he called and said we might want to think about bringing in another department, so we called (Pere Marquette Fire Department).”
Though the fire didn’t spread to the other structures on the property, Larr said many of the items stored within the pole barn — including at least two vehicles, as well as snow-removal equipment — were badly damaged by the flames.
“I don’t think there was anything in that barn that made it ... It looks like pretty much everything’s gone that was in the building,” Larr said.
Larr said firefighters were able to get the fire under control shortly after 2 p.m., though firefighters continued to monitor and spray down spots that were smoldering.
“We’re pulling stuff apart to make sure we’ve got everything out so we don’t have a rekindle,” he said.
As firefighters worked to put down the fire, Mason County Sheriff’s Office deputies blocked off Johnson Road at Gordon Road and just west of the U.S. 31 bypass.
The road was re-opened shortly after 3 p.m.
In addition to Pere Marquette and Custer, the Branch Township Fire Department also assisted.