House catches fire in Ewing

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A fire likely sparked by an issue with a furnace left the home of a couple living in Ewing with heavy damage Thursday.

Brownstown Fire Chief Travis McElfresh said the fire — reported at 7:43 p.m. — started in the basement of the home of Roger D. and Judy Wineinger at 105 N. Depot St. The Wineingers were not at home at the time.

McElfresh said the fire was a tough one to fight because the furnace is in the basement and the fire spread up the chimney to the attic, but the first floor initially wasn’t burning.

“There was fire below and fire above, and nothing in between for a while,” he said.

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The fire was pushed back and forth between the attic and basement in part because of high winds Thursday night.

Driftwood Township and Carr Township volunteer fire departments also sent tankers to help haul water to a dump tank near the fire scene from a hydrant in the area of Ewing and Branch streets.

“It was going to be a pretty long line (of hose),” McElfresh said.

He said the fire rekindled twice, and Brownstown firefighters didn’t leave the scene until after 3 a.m. Friday.

Although most of the home was a total loss, there were some bedrooms that were not damaged by the fire.

McElfresh said firefighters responding to the fire were told the couple should be at home, so they entered the home and searched for the couple but didn’t find anyone. Family members were located and contacted the Wineingers, who returned home.

The couple purchased the home in June 2005.

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