By Pat Maurer
A fire that firemen believe began on the second floor destroyed the rural Clare home of Marve and Karen Krell on South Clare Avenue Saturday night.
Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman reported that the Clare Fire Department received the call to 7037 South Clare Avenue, just south of Dover Road, at 8:04 p.m. March 2. Firefighters were on the scene until 2 a.m. “We had a really tough time,” Chapman said. “It took four hours just to get the blaze under control.” He said a steel roof over several layers of other roofing made it impossible for firefighters to “vent” (make openings in) the roof.
“No one was injured,” Chapman continued, “but two pets were lost. There were four animals in the home and two were saved, one dog and one cat.” He said no one was at home at the time, but that the homeowners arrived shortly after the fire department got to the scene.
“There was extensive, heavy fire damage on the second floor,” Chapman said. “The fire started high in the structure.” He said Tuesday that adjusters from the insurance company were at the home looking for the cause of the blaze. “We aren’t sure yet what caused it,” he said.
“We have to wait for the insurance people to finish before we have an estimate of the damage, but I believe the 1 ½ story house is a total loss,” Chapman said. “The first floor had heavy smoke and water damage.”
He did say that “through the efforts of the fire department and the homeowners, we were able to salvage some personal items and furniture.”
Clare was assisted at the scene by the Harrison Fire Department, Surrey Fire Department, the American Red Cross who assisted firefighters because it was very cold out that night, and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department, who assisted with traffic and crowd control.