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Elderly man burned, rescued from house fire

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STURGIS, Mich. — An elderly man was injured in a Saturday morning house fire.

At 9 a.m. Saturday, the Sturgis Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a structure fire in the 200 block of Surprise Street.  While en route to the scene, dispatchers notified incoming crews that there was still one person inside the home.  Deputy Fire Chief Andy Strudwick and Public Safety Director Geoff Smith arrived on scene and found heavy smoke coming out the front door of the building and the house’s elderly male owner lying just inside.

The victim was removed from the home by Strudwick and Smith and transported to Sturgis ER by LifeCare Ambulance with burns to his face and arms.

A neighbor had tried unsuccessfully several times to keep the victim out of the home before the victim was overcome by smoke.

The initial fire attack crew found heavy fire in the rear porch and kitchen area. Entry fire crews quickly knocked down the fire, which had spread to the attic.  A roof vent was cut to help clear the smoke and allow crews into the attic space to extinguish the fire fully.

The fire smoke and water damage to the building were extensive and the residence may be a total loss.

The Sturgis Fire Department is still investigating the cause of the fire, but it appears that it may have accidentally been started by the resident working on a gas lantern.

The extent of the owner’s burns are unknown at this time.

The Sturgis Fire Department was assisted by the Sturgis Police Department and LifeCare Ambulance at the scene.

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