A one story ranch style home was heavily damaged in a mid morning fire near the quiet rural community of Onondaga, Michigan. Onondaga Township firefighters received the call shortly after 10 AM on Tuesday, April 17. No one was home when volunteer firefighters arrived, so the fire had gained extensive headway before being reported. Fire had already burned through the roof of approximately 50% of the structure at 4826 Ferris Rd.
Overcoming the challenges of water supply and manpower that face many rural communities during weekday fires, Onondaga firefighters made an aggressive interior attack to push back the flames from the unburned portion of the home. A live power line down across the driveway also presented a hazard. Mutual aid was called quickly from neighboring communities for tankers and manpower. Firefighters responding were able to follow a large plume of black smoke which was visible for miles.
Six tankers set up a tanker shuttle operation for water supply. Onondaga Engine 1260 positioned in the street to draft from porta-tanks, providing water to Engine 1261 in the driveway. The fire was brought under control in about an hour. Firefighters from Eaton Rapids Township & Hamlin Township in Eaton County responded with firefighters from Leslie, Mason & Onondaga in Ingham County. It is believed the fire started in the attached garage and spread to the home. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.