At 12:27 a.m. Friday, Van Buren Township Fire Fighters responded to a house fire in a vacant home at 15803 Hoeft Road, the former site of Elken’s Kennels.
Fire fighters called for mutual aid assistance from Ypsilanti Township and City of Belleville – a total of 17 firefighters from the three agencies.
After the fire was extinguished investigators determined the fire had started in the area of a chimney and had burned through wood surrounding the chimney allowing the fire to spread.
It was determined all fires had been extinguished through visual inspections and thermal imaging cameras. Crews cleared at 3:15 a.m.
Later in the morning, at 7:15, firefighters were called back to the same house, with neighbors reporting the fire was through the roof. The fire fighters from Station 2 encountered blowing snow and slippery roadways on the way and arrived at 7:29 to find fire had penetrated the roof line and was being fueled by 20 mph winds, with gusts to 30 mph. Fire fighters were hampered by the snow and 28-degree temperatures. Belleville again sent a fire engine with two fire fighters.
When the floor joists became weakened, the fire fighters were removed from the home and the fire was extinguished with a large water stream placed above the fire through Ladder 2. The fire was ruled under control at 11:30 a.m. and the eight fire fighters on hand cleared.
An investigation into the cause of the second fire was undetermined, but it appears a fire may have been smoldering in a spot that could not be seen through visual and electronic means and was fueled by the winds.
(The property was foreclosed on last summer and is now owned by Federal Home Loan.)
Battalion Chief Daniel C. Besson
Public Information Officer
VBT Fire Department