Two Homes Destroyed in Roscommon County Lumber Yard Fire

“I don’t know what to do from here, my life has been erased.”

Firefighters battled a massive fire at a Roscommon County lumber yard Tuesday.

The Denton Township Fire Department says they responded to a fire at Penney’s Lumber just before eight Tuesday morning.

Fire Chief Paul Tiepel says, “When we first arrived, it was the back part of the lumber yard and was fully involved at that time, so it was a manner of getting resources here, manpower, water.”

Denton Fire 1

While on scene Michigan State Police troopers were requested by Denton Township FD to have DTE shut off a natural gas meter that was burning on the front of Penney’s Lumber and at a burning vacant lot in the neighboring trailer park.

DTE only had one crew member on scene to dig up the gas line. Troopers grabbed their shovels and started digging to locate the gas line. A deputy from the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Office also assisted with the dig.

Penney’s Lumber has been there since 1946. The fire also spread to two homes.

Preston Pietrowski and his family were living in one of the homes. He says, “By the time I left the house, there was already close to, if not, my trailer was on fire.”

Pietrowski says he woke up to his neighbor banging on the door saying the lumber yard next to his home was on fire.

“I seen the flames and I knew I had only a matter of seconds. So, I grabbed my animals, my kids and I got the hell out of there,” says Pietrowski.

However, Pietrowski says he didn’t only lose his home… He worked at the lumber yard as well and lost his parents last month.

“Between losing both of my parents in less than three weeks’ time and now losing everything that they owned, and now losing everything, yeah, this year has been absolutely ridiculous for me.”

Owner Brian Penney says the lumber yard has been in the family for three generations.

He says with the COVID-19 pandemic and now this… he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.

“I want to say thank you to the community at large and also thank you to the fire departments because they did everything they could, and they did a lot because they saved the rest of the trailer park as well,” says Penney.

Although the holidays are just around the corner, Pietrowski says he has to be strong for his family:

“It’s never the end of the story, I’ve got kids to take care of, they can’t watch me fail.”

Fire Chief Tiepel says they’ll likely be calling in the fire marshal to do an investigation due to the size of the fire.