An estimated $3 milion-plus home was destroyed in a house fire in the Little Point Sable Association in Benona Township Monday afternoon.
The Shelby-Benona and Hart fire departments were dispatched to a garage fire at 657 S. Glen Rd. owned by Mara Gloor of Chicago. The owners were not present at the time, but family members were inside the home and were able to escape prior to the departments’ arrival. No cause had been determined, but the fire did start in the garage, Shelby-Benona and Hart Fire Chief Jack White said. The home was insured.
According to White, arriving units found a more than 5,000 square foot, four-story wood frame home with a garage on the first floor with fire pushing out of the garage and extending up the front of the structure. The departments started attacking the fire, but were overwhelmed with the large volume of fire and the lack of a large water supply. The fire spread throughout the house and threatened a neighboring home to the north.
Additional departments were called and eventually six additional engines and six additional water tanker responded.
White said a water supply was established at Silver Lake by the Pentwater Fire Department. The home was a total loss, and the structure to the north suffered some damage from the radiant heat and flame contact. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire units as well as fire units on scene also handled seven spot fires that were started down wind of the fire. These did not damage structures.
Walkerville Fire Department staffed a truck in Shelby and Montague also filled in at the Grant Township station for coverage for the rest of the county with both Walkerville and Crystal Valley also having personnel on standby in the event of another call.
“The lack of a large volume water supply and the inability to communicate effectively on scene due to poor radio service on the lakeshore were the major problems encountered,” White said. “The Shelby-Benona Fire Department remained on scene through the night and will be on scene most of Tuesday.”
Responding departments included Shelby-Benona, Hart Area, Grant Township, Pentwater, Walkerville Area, Ferry Township, Crystal Township, Life EMS, Michigan State Police, Oceana County Emergency Management and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The last unit cleared at 8 a.m. Tuesday and the DNR fire unit was to return at 10 a.m. to continue fire watch.