Careless smoking may be to blame for deadly house fire in Allegan
Updated: Friday, April 5 2013, 06:42 PM EDT
ALLEGAN COUNTY, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A State Fire Marshall now says careless smoking may be the cause of that deadly house fire in Dorr Friday morning.
Sgt. Scott LeRoy identified the victim as 41-year old Paul Smit.
Smit's wife and 16-year-old son were able to safely escape the fire.
Authorities tell Newschannel 3 the wife woke up to smoke in the home around 2am Friday and rushed around the house to wake her family.
"He was sleeping on the couch." Says Dorr Fire Chief Harold Schumaker, "She went and woke him up and he was kind of half awake. So he headed for the mud room, while she went and woke her son up. That was the last she saw him."
When they realized the man wasn't with them it was too late, the flames had completely taken over the home and they were not able to get back inside.
"We arrived on scene and one of my officers saw the flames were coming from the roof so there was no way when he got to the scene he could have gone inside." Said Fire Chief Schumaker and at some point the room where the victim was had also collapsed.
"The mud room is collapsed, the whole roof is down on the house, probably half the floor of the main section is in the basement."
The Chief says crews had to bring in metal beams to shore up the walls and floor. Smit's body was recovered from the home's basement just after 6:30AM.
The Hopkins Community Reformed Church is accepting donations to help the family on Friday from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
Organizers say that clothing donations are needed as the family has lost everything. They are looking for donations of clothing in the following sizes;
Womens: size 12 pants/large tops.
Juniors size 5 pants, small tops
Girls size 7/8
Men's sizes 38x34 and 30/34 pants, size XL and sm/med shirts
Shoes: girls 13 or 1, ladies 7/12-8, men’s sizes 10/12 and 13.
The church says they are also working to set up an account for monetary donations.