New Year’s fire destroys home

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Photos by Bob Guiliani

Dan and Mary Atyeo, and the couple’s three children, a 16-year-old daughter and two sons 11 and 13, lost everything in a structure fire on New Year’s Day.
Dan and Mary rented the home at 6401 Washington Road east of Clare from Dave Martin of Sears, and while the structure is insured, the contents of the home were not.

Bitter cold weather coupled with wind chill hampered fire men in their efforts to extinguish the house fire on Washington Road.

Bitter cold weather coupled with wind chill hampered fire men in their efforts to extinguish the house fire on Washington Road.

Mary and one of their sons were at home at the time the fire broke out. “They got out with the shirts on their back,” said Clare Fire Chief Jim Chapman. “The youngster heard a smoke detector and went to investigate and found the kitchen in flames.” Chapman said they called 911 at 10:53 a.m. January 1, and by the time the fire department arrived at 11:04 a.m. the fire had spread and the house was fully involved.

Dan and another son were in town shopping at the time. Dan had been working on repairs to a gas range in the kitchen and told the fire chief he had shut off the gas and gone after parts. He said they had been having “issues” with the range.

“I feel so bad for them,” Chapman said. “I’m hoping they will be able to get some help.”

When firefighters arrived Monday morning, the home of Dan and Mary Atyeo was fully engulfed.

When firefighters arrived Monday morning, the home of Dan and Mary Atyeo was fully engulfed.

Wednesday evening we learned that Farwell Schools, where all three Atyeo children attend school, has organized fundraisers for the family.

The Middle School will hold a dance, while the High School is collecting donations. The community may also bring donations to the high school office, Prinicipal Dr. Dee Yarger said.

Even the staff is helping. They will hold a “blue jean day” for staff members as a fundraiser for the family.

Bitter cold weather and winds hampered the fire fighters efforts to contain the fire, Chapman added. They were on the scene for about three hours.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, Chapman added, but he said it appeared to have started in the area of the cook stove.

Clare was assisted at the scene by Surrey Township Fire Department, Harrison Fire Department and Beaverton Fire Department and by the Clare County Sheriff’s Department and Mobile Medical Ambulance Service.

1-5-18 Washington Fire _L6A0044Chapman said Cops and Doughnuts brought coffee and doughnuts to the firefighters and McDonalds provided burgers. “When we got back to the station, Buccilli’s arrived with pizza for the men,” he said. “It’s awesome being a part of this community where people, organizations and businesses all pitch in to help their neighbors and this department when things like this happen.”

It was the second fire for the Clare Department on New Year’s Day.

Chapman said the first alarm came in at 6:36 a.m. The department responded to a report of a fire in a basement of a home, owned by Rick Dedolph of Charlotte and rented by Jamie Kleinhardt at 605 East Ludington, near the Harrison Road intersection in Grant Township.

By the time the Fire Department arrived, Kleinhardt had extinguished the flames with a fire extinguisher. Chapman said the fire was caused by an electrical problem with the boiler and started near the sump pump in the basement.

Kleinhardt, his partner and three grandchildren were at home at the time. No one was injured.

The home sustained only smoke damage, Chapman said. “There was no structural damage.”

The department was assisted by Surrey Township Fire Department, Consumers Energy and DTE.

Fire fighters were on that scene for about an hour, Chapman said.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *