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Newaygo County House Fire Leaves Two People Dead

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A house fire in Newaygo County left two people dead Tuesday morning.

The City of Big Rapids Fire Department said the call came in around 5 a.m. about a house fire southwest of Big Rapids on Cottonwood Avenue.

“Upon arrival they did find a fully involved house fire,” said City of Big Rapids Fire Chief Steve Schroeder. “The fire was going through the whole house at that time and we started extinguishing methods.”

Family tells us an 80-year-old man and his 68-year-old wife lived in the house, and they were married for 30-plus years.

Their neighbor, Michael Brown, has known the couple for 45 years. He and his son, David, were first to notice the fire in the morning.

“It must have been around 10 to five this morning, we lost power and my son had woken me up and said that the house was on fire,” said Brown. “By the time we got over there, he was around the front, I went around the back screaming and yelling to see if we could get anybody out of there. By that time, the house had been fully engulfed in flames, and there wasn’t much we could do at that point.”

Brown’s son called 911.

“Within probably another 5 of w10 minutes the whole house collapsed upon itself,” said Brown.

Brown said his neighbors were good people.

“Sal was one of the ladies that always came to help anybody and everybody she could,” he said. “Ed was the same way.”

Brown said he’s heartbroken for the victims’ families.

“It’s going to be a great loss for the family, they have a bunch of grandkids,” he said. “They’re going to be greatly missed, there’s no doubt about that.”

First responders are still determining the cause of the fire.

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