Hamlin Township Firefighter’s Home Burns Down

A firefighter captain, on the other side of a devastating fire.

His home in Mason County, destroyed after going down in flames.

The Hamlin Township Fire Department got the call around 8:30 Friday night.

When they got to the home, they realized it was their captains. 

“We were in the bedroom watching TV at the time of the fire and we smelled a little smoke and I thought it was the wood stove outside and my wife said, no that’s electrical, finally she opened the door and she smelled it,” says Dennis Vandervest, homeowner and Captain at Hamlin Township Fire Department.

That’s when the Hamlin Township Fire Department Captain Dennis Vandervest and his wife Lori grabbed the dogs, got out of the house and called 911.

“It brings into perceptive when I have gone out to put out fires for many years, how the people feel. Now I know all about it,” says Vandervest.

The Hamlin Township Fire Department says the fire started in the garage, but don’t know what caused it.

They had it under control in two hours, but the home was destroyed.

For the department, putting a fire out for one of their own was difficult. Especially for Chief Steven Vandervest, Dennis’ brother.

“It changes your mindset a little bit, you still have do the job of the firefighter, but you also want to be there for the family too, so it’s kind of a tug of war,” says Chief Steven Vandervest, Hamlin Township Fire Department.

No one was hurt but Dennis and Lori lost some irreplaceable items.

“There’s some things in there that are irreplaceable. We have a granddaughter that passed away a few years ago, a lot of her stuff was in there and now that’s gone. That’s probably the worst,” says Vandervest.

But, they’re keeping hope.

"We’re going to rebuild. Beautiful spot out here, not going to give up. Thank you everyone for coming and putting it out, they were a lot of my friends and buddies,” says Vandervest.

Relatives started a GoFundMe page for Dennis and Lori that you can find by clicking here.