Christmas fire destroys homePublished 10:47am Monday, December 28, 2009
By JESSICA SIEFF
Niles Daily Star
An early morning fire on Christmas Day displaced one Niles family, who escaped with their lives after flames ravaged their home.
Acting Chief Lt. Doug Myers of the Niles Township Fire Department said the cause of the fire that destroyed the home of Tabitha and Vance Russell early Christmas morning is still “undertermined.”
Myers said township firefighters and Berrien County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call at Franklin Woods, 1950 S. 13th St., at approximately 6:30 a.m. Friday.
“When they got on scene, there were flames through the roof,” he said.
Myers said the family’s dog alerted the Russell’s and their children to the fire, which allowed them time to escape.
“Everyone got out safe,” he said.
The home, he added, was a “complete loss.”
A state investigator was on scene Sunday, Myers said searching through the charred remains of the home as officials try to determine what started the blaze that kept firefighters busy for over an hour.
“The wind was a big problem that morning,” Myers said, which added to the challenge for firefighters.
There was also a concern that the fire could spread.
“There was some concern,” Myers said. “The good news was that it was right on the corner.”
Surrounding homes and structures didn’t suffer damage.