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Published: Saturday, 12/20/2008

Monroe area fire destroys house


MONROE, Mich. A family of four, including two children, was left homeless Saturday morning when a power-generator explosion started a fire that destroyed their Frenchtown Township house and a nearby shed that housed the generator, authorities said.

A Frenchtown Township firefighter injured his shoulder while helping fight the blaze. Brian Onan, an 18-year fire department veteran, was released from Mercy Memorial Hospital, Monroe, after treatment, Frenchtown Township fire Capt. Joe Abbott said.

The explosion at a wooden shed about 5 feet from a single-story, wood-and-aluminum pre-manufactured house at 1855 Birch St. was reported by a neighbor about 5:30 a.m., Captain Abbott said.

By the time fire crews arrived at the scene a short time later, the occupants of the house had escaped unhurt. The American Red Cross later assisted them with housing, the fire captain said.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze within about 90 minutes but not before it had destroyed the house and the shed, the captains said. He put the fire damage estimate at $100,000, which included the house, the shed, and their contents.

The exact kind of fuel that powered the generator was under investigation, the fire captain said.

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