Brownstown woman loses home to fire on Thanksgiving

A Brownstown woman lost the place she has called home since September to a fire Thursday evening.

The only good news for Barbara Stout is that she and her two grandchildren were able to escape the burning home at 1252 S. County Road 150W without injury.

But Stout said it was a Thanksgiving she will never forget.

“Our Thanksgiving was over at 4 o’clock, and people were leaving,” she said.

Firefighters with the Brownstown Fire Department fought the blaze, reported shortly before 7 p.m., with the assistance of firefighters from Driftwood Township, Carr Township and Hamilton Township volunteer fire departments.

Brownstown Fire Chief Travis McElfresh said fire investigators believe the fire likely started in a heat pump outside the home and moved up to the attic.

“Most of the damage was in the attic,” he said.

Stout said her smoke detectors didn’t even go off, and a neighbor came to the door to tell her garage was on fire.

“In 15 minutes, it was just in total flames,” Stout said. “It was a beautiful house.”

The fire destroyed the house and much of its contents, many of which were new, she said.

Stout said she planned to stay with her sister, who lives in Brownstown.

McElfresh said firefighters were able to get a lot of Stout’s valuables out of the home.

McElfresh said the biggest issue fighting the blaze was hauling water from a couple of miles away from a hydrant at U.S. 50 and State Road 135 in Brownstown.

“We had plenty of trucks (to haul water), and it’s good not to get them all gathered in one place,” he said. “There was a closer hydrant, but we know the one in Brownstown is very good.”