House Fire Likely Caused by Boy Playing with Matches - Northern Michigan's News Leader

House Fire Likely Caused by Boy Playing with Matches

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A Manistee County family is in desperate need of new housing following a weekend house fire.

Fire crews responded to a home on Center Street in Manistee on Saturday afternoon as the second floor of the house filled with smoke. All nine people living there and several pets managed to get out safely.

The Manistee Director of Public Safety says they've ruled out other causes and that a three year-old boy playing with matches or a lighter most likely started the blaze.

Thick smoke built up in the home but firefighters managed to contain the threat after just minutes on the scene.

The boy's family does not believe he was behind the fire. Several generations of one family lived at the home, including several children. The Red Cross put them in a motel for three days, but on Tuesday they will be on their own.

They say they need a permanent place to go, but financially they are facing some instability.

"We're trying to find a place to go," says Brenda Gunther, the matriarch of the family.

If you can help the family or point them to resources, please call 231-510-2429 and ask for Brenda or Carla.