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Published: Sunday, 12/21/2008

Fire started by explosion leaves family homeless


MONROE - A family of four, including two children, was left homeless Saturday when a power-generator explosion started a fire that destroyed its Frenchtown Township home 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 in a wooden shed about five feet from a single-story, wood-and-aluminum 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.

Firefighters extinguished the blaze in about 90 minutes, but not before it had destroyed the house and the shed, the captain said. Captain Abbott estimated the fire damage at $100,000, which included the house, the shed, and their contents.

The kind of fuel that powered the generator remained to be determined, the fire captain said. The residence was not connected to a power grid, firefighters said.

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