Firefighters Being Monitored After Gladwin House Fire
“Please tell me it was a nightmare. Basically, that’s what it is.”
A family home destroyed by fire that burned through the night. Several firefighters were injured and some family pets died.
Someone in a home across the lake spotted a bright light — and smoke across the water, and called for help. The family got out safely, but lost all of their belongings.
While trying to put out the flames, firefighters found themselves trapped in the basement of the home on East Pratt Road.
Cody Boyer has been working this story since very early Friday morning.
Five firefighters were sent to the hospital after three fell into the basement, and two others tried to save them.
The family says it all seemed like a nightmare.
“I don’t know how we are going to get through it,” said Elliot.
Elliot and his family went to town to celebrate his mother’s birthday Thursday night when he saw fire engines race by and wondered where they were going.
When they got home — they found out.
“There’s nothing left. It’s totaled down to the ground.”
Three dogs and four cats were trapped inside.
“My mom tried going inside the house and I had to hold her back literally with all of my might, saying no you can’t. It’s not worth risking your life for a dog.”
Firefighters tried to stop the flames, but the sub-zero temperatures froze their engines and their water.
Then, three became trapped in the basement for nearly an hour.
“They are amazing. I couldn’t say. I’m speechless, what to say to them. Hopefully, they are doing alright now.”
Elliot’s neighbor, Linda Holler, is letting the family stay with them.
“How can you go through the rest of your life on your birthday and know that such devastation took place?” said Linda.
She says the family is grateful they weren’t home, but it will be a long time before they are back on their feet.
“It makes you take stock of what you need to do to get your affairs in order. They are thankful that they were gone.”
The Gladwin Fire Department says while they don’t know exactly what caused the fire — they know it started on the bottom floor of the house.
“They were in for about an hour but the quick action of some of our firefighters and our mutual aid people…lives were saved, thank God,” said assistant fire chief Greg Alward.
Temperatures below negative 25 degrees and freezing equipment slowed the Gladwin Fire Department’s efforts to save this home. Then — things got even worse.
“During the suppression of the fire, the floor collapsed and it became a rescue.”
They were trapped for an hour. Two of their own went to save them — but at a cost. All five ended up hurt.
“Their status right now is all positive and looking to get released and go home to their families.
But the department’s day didn’t end there. Hours later, another fire sparked on Hockaday Road. Thankfully, extra help was nearby.
“Mutual aid we had from other departments because of the conditions and our manpower was down a little bit.”
“If it weren’t for them, how would it have played out?” asked Cody.
“It probably would…ahh…the outcome I don’t think would have been favorable,” said Greg.
He says the actions of all who helped fight each fire stand as a testament to his department as a whole.
“I couldn’t be any more proud and I could be a member of any other department, but Gladwin is where my heart is and Gladwin is where their hearts are.”
No one who lived in either home was hurt.
The assistant fire chief says the five firefighters are still in the hospital — being treated for frostbite, smoke inhalation and burns.
He says they are all just ready to go home to their families.