KENT COUNTY, Mich. — An otherwise normal day along Lake Maston turned chaotic for a Spencer Township neighborhood at 4 p.m., Friday afternoon.
“I was inside the house, and then I heard him yelling. We didn’t know what he was saying so I ran out on the deck and I saw him standing outside of his house, and there was fire just coming out,” Karissa Thompson, a neighbor said.
Thompson spotted her next door neighbor, Mark Hudson, yelling for someone to call 911. She and her friend said Hudson who is deaf, was frantic.
“So we were just like trying to communicate with him as much as we possibly could to tell, let him know that 911 was coming,” Meghan Yost, Thompson’s friend said.
Several departments responded, including Spencer, Maple Valley and Montcalm Townships. A barrier to fighting the blaze was a long driveway and no nearby hydrants, Spencer Township Fire Chief Alan Wright said. He added that crews had to transport their own water.
Wright said it took 10 to 15 minutes to knock the flames down. Meantime, Hudson was treated for smoke inhalation on the scene and refused to go to the hospital. Now, 50 percent of his home is destroyed, forcing him to stay with a relative.
“Basically main floor is all totaled, burned inside to the studs. So it might have been burning for a little bit,” Wright said.
The chief said a foul odor was coming from the basement where a lot of chemicals, such as fertilizer are stored. However, what started the fire isn’t known at this point. An investigation is underway.