A second Clare home destroyed by fire

November 25, 2015

11-27-15 Fire_56A1335

By Pat Maurer

Another fire, the second for the Clare Fire Department in four days, destroyed a duplex rental home on Fourth Street in Clare Sunday evening.

11-27-15 Fire_56A1373Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman said one renter, Matthew Kline, who was the only one home at the time, called the fire department around 9:46 p.m. to report smoke in the home at 502 South Fourth Street and a possible electrical problem. By the time firefighters arrived from less than a half mile away, Chapman said “there were already flames showing on the outside of the building.”

“It was a fast moving fire,” Chapman reported. “It spread into the attic over the buildings two apartments. We struggled to get ahead of the fire, but it got so intense so quickly that the firefighters had to evacuate the building and go into a ‘defense mode’.”

Sixteen Clare firefighters fought the blaze which quickly engulfed the home. 11-27-15 Fire_56A1299They were assisted by firefighters and equipment from Harrison and Surrey Township Fire Departments. Clare Police and Mobile Medical Response were also on hand to assist.

Chapman said Kline, who lived in the rear apartment with his wife Jessica Groves, reported that his lights “were flickering,” and he “found smoke” when he went upstairs to check.

No one was at home in the front apartment. The residents there were Cheryl Kline and her daughter.
Chapman said the house and contents of the apartments are a total loss. The building is owned by Tracy Bolle, he added.

11-27-15 Fire_56A1329He said he doesn’t know what caused the fire. “There were no injuries,” he said. “Mr. Kline got out.”
Firemen fought the blaze for about five hours, and didn’t clear the scene until around 2:40 a.m. Monday morning.

“This is our second structure fire in just four days,” Chapman said. Although he said the two fires may not have been caused by auxiliary or portable heaters, he still urged everyone to “use caution when using them.”

“It’s that time of year,” he added. “The holidays are almost here and the last thing we want to happen is a tragedy in our community.” He continued, urging everyone to “check those smoke detectors. That is really important,” he said.
Photos by Bob Guiliani

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