Michigan: Three unexplained fires erupt simultaneously in rural county

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

This item from a Michigan newspaper caught my eye because these three fires were reported almost simultaneously. One was reported to have started in the furnace area and a second was reported to have started near a water heater. Is there anyone living in that area of Michigan who can tell us if natural gas is readily available or are homes on individual propane tanks?

Michigan: Three blazes spread firefighters thin Wednesday, January 19, 2000 By Jerry Ernst JOURNAL STAFF WRITER

CALEDONIA TWP. - The main building of a salvage yard was leveled Tuesday by one of three simultaneous fires in Shiawassee County.

Nearly every fire department in the county's eastern half was called to the blazes, which also destroyed a rural Burns Township home and caused about $20,000 in damage to an Owosso house.

A fire, which started at 9:45 a.m., destroyed an estimated 25,000-square-foot building housing the main offices and sales quarters of American Metal Buyers.

The fire destroyed all the yard's indoor stock, tools, equipment and other contents, said Scott E. Johnson, Corunna-Caledonia Township fire chief.

A nearby trailer housing the company's records sustained only minor damage, he said. More than 30 firefighters from Corunna, Owosso, Perry and the townships of Owosso, Vernon and Venice responded to the blaze, Johnson said. Owner Gary Hudson of Owosso and two employees escaped from the building unharmed. The fire was under control by 11 a.m. and extinguished by 1:30 p.m., Johnson said.

Hudson, who estimated the loss at $50,000, said he had partial insurance for the building but none for its contents. He said he hoped to reopen the approximately 50-year-old business. He has owned it for 10 years.

Johnson said the cause of the fire was under investigation.

The Corunna-Caledonia Fire Department also responded to a fire that destroyed a home at 11672 McCaughna Road, one mile north of Byron and less than one mile west of the Genesee County border. Burns Township Fire Chief Richard E. Musall said the homeowners and their two children were not home when the fire started.

The cause of the fire, which officials believe started in the furnace room, has not been determined.

A damage estimate was not available.

Firefighters from Vernon, Shiawassee and Argentine townships assisted. Resources in east Shiawassee County were so depleted that the Gaines Fire Department stood by to take any other calls, Musall said.

Another house fire at 1307 S. State St. was extinguished about 10 a.m. Tuesday by Owosso firefighters. Capt. Charlie Schaufele said damage was mostly confined to one wall, rafters and the roof.

Renter Gary Taylor, whose father owns the house, and Taylor's fiancee were home when the fire stared, Schaufele said. Fire Chief John L. Kenney said it started near the water heater.



-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 19, 2000


Both LP and Natural gas are used in that area...used to live near there.

-- justme (justme@myhouse.com), January 19, 2000.

Thanks....would be interesting to find out if the fire sites were on propane or connected to natural gas pipeline....and if there was a surge in pressure at the time of the fires. Do you know who the NG supplier is for that area?

-- Carl Jenkins (Somewherepress@aol.com), January 19, 2000.

Could it have been due to severe artic weather conditions?

-- (jack@frost.freezing/burstingpipes), January 19, 2000.

A company named Mich-Con supplies the Natural Gas in Owosso and neighboring towns. I used to live there and my Son still does. If I get any firsthand information on these fires I will post them.

-- jules (jules@fridgid.net), January 19, 2000.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ