CALEDONIA TOWNSHIP, Mich. – One person is dead and a house destroyed following a fire in Caledonia Township.
A Shiawassee County Sheriff’s deputy was the first responder dispatched to a residential structure fire at Lyons and Richardson Roads at 11:07 am.
The house was fully engulfed when the deputy arrived.
Sheriff officials say there were six occupants in the residence.
Five occupants had made it out safely, a sixth, female occupant was reported as still being inside the home.
The deputy grabbed a fire extinguisher from his cruiser, entered house and tried to go upstairs where she was last seen.
The deputy was pushed back by thick, black smoke and had to get back outside.
He then made sure the other five occupants didn’t go back inside the home at their peril.
Fire units from the Caledonia, Perry, Owosso City, Owosso Township, Venice Township, Shiawassee Township, and Vernon Township departments responded shortly after and began fighting blaze.
Once the fire was controlled and extinguished, a search for the missing occupant began.
The Michigan State Police fire marshal and cadaver dogs were called in for assistance.
Due to floor and roof collapse, construction equipment had to be used to clear debris for the dogs to carry out their work.
Once debris was cleared, the dogs found the victim below the area she was last believed to have been.
As of the time of this story, crews on scene were waiting for the county medical examiner to perform an examination before removing the victim’s body from the rubble.
“It’s a tragic situation. A family has not only lost a loved one, but all of their possessions. We want them to know we’re here for them,” said Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole.
All emergency crews on scene were assisted by the Red Cross.
The victim’s name and age were not released and the cause of the fire is still being investigated.