By Judy Reed
Jack Emmorey always wanted a log cabin in the woods, and 14 years ago he built one—with his own hands—on the edge of Lime Lake. “We pulled all the logs out of the woods, using seven mule teams,” explained Emmorey. “And I hand treated the logs, too.”
His dream was shattered, however, Monday evening, November 15, when his 1,100 square-foot log cabin, at 1446 16 Mile, burned to the ground.
According to the Solon Township Fire Department, the call came in at about 8:20 p.m. and the fire was fully involved when they arrived on scene. Solon, Algoma, and Kent City Fire all fought the blaze. They also called in Rockford Fire for their aerial device. The fire was declared out at 12:30 a.m., but Solon Fire returned again the next morning to spray foam on the hot logs.
According to Solon Fire Chief Joyce Vandermey, the fire started in the back of the house near a woodburner, but they don’t know if that is what caused the fire. “It burned so hot and so quick that it will remain undetermined,” she explained.
Emmorey was not home when the fire started, and a neighbor across the lake saw the flames and called 911. “The first I knew about it was when I drove up and saw the flames and fire trucks everywhere,” said Emmorey.
He lived in the house alone, except for a couple of cats, who were not injured in the fire. “No one got hurt. We were blessed there,” said Emmorey.
Many members of Emmorey’s family were on the scene as the fire burned. “I came running down the driveway to see if there was anything we could get in and save, when I saw the huge flames,” said Emmorey’s nephew, Brett Rowland.
Emmorey’s home was a favorite family gathering place for a sledding party each winter, and other activities. He said he does plan to rebuild, but for now he is staying with his son, Cory. Emmorey lost everything he had, and the Red Cross did help find him some clothing.