Seven escape house fire

March 15, 2013

By Pat Maurer

Review Correspondent

Very little is left in the room where the fire started at the Riggs residence last Sunday.Photos courtesy of Jennifer Reed

Very little is left in the room where the fire started at the Riggs residence last Sunday.
Photos courtesy of Jennifer Reed

A house fire that may have been started by a woodstove completely destroyed a Harrison Home Sunday morning.

Four adults and three children lost everything in the fire, but they are all thankful no one was injured in the blaze.

Harrison Fire Department Captain Chris Damvelt said the home, located at 5356 North Old State Avenue, was “fully engulfed” when the department arrived on the scene. “It went fast,” he reported. “There wasn’t much we could do.”

Damvelt added that they didn’t have enough hose to reach the home, which was up a hill. “We had to add 100 feet of hose,” he said.

The seven residents, who were all at home at the time, included owner Fred Riggs; his girlfriend Nola Reed; her daughter Jennifer Reed; her three year old son and five month old daughter; Riggs’ daughter Misti Riggs; and her one year old daughter.

The home wasn’t insured.

Jennifer Reed said she was sitting on the couch around 9:30 a.m. and looked up to see the stovepipe in flames. “I got everybody out of the house as fast as I could,” she said. Some of us only had slippers on.

She said the fire department was there until early afternoon. Damvelt said they were assisted by Lincoln Township Fire Department, Mobil Medical Response and the Clare County Sheriff’s Department.

Jennifer said, “The fire spread very fast. By the time we got outside, flames were coming out of the building. We lost everything, and the house is totally destroyed by fire, smoke and water damage.

She added, “We went back and even the toys are melted.”

She said she and her two children are living with their father, Fred Riggs and Nola Reed are staying at the Deer Trail Motel, and Misti Riggs and her daughter are at another family home.

“I just want to thank everyone for their concern and for helping us out,” she said.

Anyone wishing to donate to the family should call Jennifer at 989-386-3298 or Darcell Hale at 989-539-9369. Any clothing or items can also be dropped off at the Deer Trail Motel in Harrison. Clothing sizes include size 3T girls’ and 3T boy’s clothing; girl’s size 3 to 6 months; women’s medium shirts and size 4 slacks and scrubs for work for Jennifer; women’s’ size large shirts, 7-8 pants, 9-10 pants and men’s large shirts and 32 by 32 pants.

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