PERKINS - A home along M-35, south of Perkins, was destroyed by fire early Saturday morning, according to the Baldwin Township fire chief. The owner of the house, the lone occupant, was not injured.
Around 2 a.m., Don Broeders Sr., of 11653 M-35, smelled smoke in his home and located a fire in his workshop attached to his residence, said Baldwin Township Fire Chief Terry Royer. Broeders used two fire extinguishers to attempt to put the fire out but was unsuccessful. After 911 was notified, Baldwin Township volunteer firefighters arrived at the scene to find the shop fully engulfed by flames, said Royer.
The fire that originated in the shop spread to a building housing a large boat and also spread to the home. Vehicles and other debris in the yard also caught fire as the flames quickly spread.
The home of Don Broeders Sr., 11653 M-35, south of Perkins, burns into a towering inferno as firefighters work to put out the flames early Saturday morning. Firefighters from Baldwin, Tri-Township and Masonville volunteer fire departments were at the scene for nearly seven hours. No one was injured. (Daily Press photo by Jenny Lancour)
A strong west wind made firefighting efforts very difficult, commented Royer. Burning ashes could be seen flying over the highway to the other side of the road while firefighters battled the blaze. The home was a towering inferno at one point, making firefighters look smaller-than-life in comparison.
Once the fire was controlled, all that remained of the home was the chimney standing among piles of rubble. The shop was destroyed and the upper portions of the boat and its garage were burned. Vehicles near the home were also damaged by fire. Royer said there was no insurance on the property.
Firefighters were at the scene for nearly seven hours - from 2:15 to 9 a.m., said the fire chief. Mutual aid was provided by Tri-Township, Brampton Township and Masonville Township volunteer fire departments. Rock Rescue emergency medical personnel were on standby at the scene.
Saturday morning's fire was the second house to burn in Perkins within less than four days.
On Wednesday morning, the home of Dave Tryan on 32nd Road was destroyed. No one was home when the fire started. A passerby reported the fire. The Red Cross has provided Tryan and his two teens temporary housing at a local motel.