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Christmas day fire leaves family homeless

This Sand Lake area home caught fire Christmas day.

An Ensley Township family is now staying with relatives after their home caught fire Christmas Day.
According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the fire broke out about 3:30 p.m., Sunday, December 25. He said the family was playing cards at their home, located at 12905 S. Elm Street, in Ensley Township, when the dog started barking. When someone went to see why the dog was barking, the person discovered the fire in the breezeway, which was between the garage and the house. All five people at home at the time got out safely.
“It may have been caused by Christmas lights in the breezeway,” said Holtzlander, “but we won’t know for sure until the fire investigator comes out to look at it this week.”
Both Cedar Springs and Grant Fire Departments assisted Sand Lake at the scene. Holtzlander said they had the fire knocked down within about a half hour and cleared the scene a little after 6 p.m.
Holtzlander said that home would likely be a total loss, but that probably 95 percent of the family’s belongings were salvageable. “We had enough help on scene that we were able to move their belongings to the west side of the house,” he explained.
While the whole house didn’t burn down, the kitchen area by the breezeway was damaged, the fire got into the attic, and the trusses were charred. The house also had smoke damage.
The house, which belongs to Don Vandenberg, is reportedly insured.

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