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Dexter, Dexter Government

House Fire leads the Scio Township Supervisor to leave in the middle of a meeting

Working his way through the township board meeting on April 9 with the others on the board of trustees, Scio Township Supervisor Will Hathaway was stopped when he looked at his phone after receiving a text message about an emergency which led him to leave the meeting.

The emergency was a fire at his home.

The Sun Times News followed up with Hathaway.

“Yes, we had a house fire on Tuesday, April 9,” he said. “It occurred while I was at the Scio Township Board of Trustees meeting. My wife Paula was home and had to deal with the situation as it unfolded. The fire began with a dehumidifier appliance in our basement.”

He said his wife attempted to extinguish the fire and she did succeed in pulling flammable material away from the fire, but the smoke was too much and she was advised to get out of the house by the sheriff deputies who arrived first on the scene.

“She sent me a text message that our house was on fire,” Hathaway said. “Her text caught me by surprise as we were working our way through the Board of Trustees agenda.”

Scio Township Fire Chief Andrew Houde said the fire department received a call for a house on fire at about 9:30 p.m. that Tuesday night. The call reported a fire in the basement at Hathaway’s home.

“Our crews were on another call, so our response was delayed, but when we arrived, we discovered a dehumidifier in the basement had caught fire,” Houde said. “Fortunately, a homeowner was home and noticed the fire immediately, and was able to move a few combustibles away from it, so the majority of the damage was caused by smoke rather than fire.”

Houde said the fire was quickly extinguished, and firefighters spent some time removing smoke from the home. He said they did rescue two cats from the home and were able to revive them by administering oxygen.

Houde said Hathaway and his wife were displaced by the fire. He said they were working with restoration companies and their insurance company to estimate damages and how long they will be out of the home.

“While obviously a terrible situation, nobody was hurt, and their pets were able to be rescued,” Houde said.

Both the Scio and Dexter fire departments responded.

“The fire was extinguished before it spread,” Hathaway said. “The only thing that burned was the dehumidifier. Unfortunately it generated a lot of smoke which spread throughout the house. There is extensive smoke damage.”

He said the Scio and Dexter firefighters worked as a team to deal with the situation, but unfortunately, “their response time was delayed because of distance and there was another emergency on the west end of the Township.”

“We are very grateful for their effort to put out the fire. In particular we are thankful that they were able to rescue both of our cats who had hidden in different parts of the house,” Hathaway said.

He said the lessons he’s taking from the experience:

“1) have fire extinguishers in designated locations, 2) check your dehumidifier to see if it is on a recall list, 3) let’s get enough resources to our fire department so that it is able to respond more promptly to emergencies throughout the Township.”