By Pat Maurer
Fire destroyed a barn and an adjacent home was heavily damaged Tuesday in Frost Township.
Harrison Fire Chief Pat Agin said the home’s resident was burning trash behind the barn when the fire got away from him and ignited the barn first and then the home at 7560 Jacks Road north of Harrison.
The call came in around 11 a.m. He said the barn was already gone by the time fire crews arrived on the scene, but the house was still burning. “The side of the house had ignited and the fire went through the attic,” Agin said Wednesday.
He said the home’s resident, who has respiratory problems, collapsed in an attempt to get a hose to fight the blaze. He was pulled to safety. The man’s oxygen equipment, stored in the home’s living room and bedroom did not ignite.
The barn was totally destroyed and the home heavily damaged, Agin said. “The fire also ignited a grassy area and the woods near the home,” Agin added.
“I believe the man will be fined for burning without a permit,” Agin said. “There are no permits being issued and even with a permit, only natural items can be burned.”
Harrison Fire Department was assisted by Clare Fire Department, Lincoln Township Fire Department, the Department of Natural Resources in Harrison, Frost Township Police and Mobile Medical Response.
Officials were on the scene until shortly after 3 p.m.
He said the department has been called out 24 times in the past week. “The majority of the calls have been wildfires. Most wildfires are preventable,” he said, “People need to be extra careful with campfires and when they are burning with permits.”
He added, “If you are burning and the fire escapes, call 911 as fast as you can – don’t wait.”