“The flames were coming out of the side of the house and the engineer (going by on the railroad tracks) called it in,” said Ron Butler, who lives with Laura Watkins in her home at 2649 Hartland Center Road.
“They say a wood-burner fell over. They don’t know how that happened but that is what they are saying.”
Nobody was home at the time.
“She (Watkins) was at work and I was at town,” Butler said. “People were calling both of us saying, ‘Your house is on fire.’”
While the house is still standing, Butler said the inside is a mess.
“They aren’t going to have much left,” he said. “They are trying to clean her clothes. They say they are going to have to gut it and start all over with the smoke damage.”
Butler said Watkins has a place to stay.
“They have her in the Best Western right now and they are looking for a house or condo while they are working on her house. They say it will be six months or better. The insurance company is doing everything.”
There were no pets in the house.
“No one was hurt. That is the big thing,” Butler said.
The Townsend Township Volunteer Fire Department handled the blaze.