Business owner to blame after losing $20,000 of inventory in fire

Howard, MI. -  A Michiana business owner is hoping he can recover after a fire destoryed $20,000 worth of inventory.

During the blaze, three fire departments were on the scene. Firefighters says they had to wait to put out the flames. 


During the fire, a power line came down right top of a nearby metal fence, and with live wire touching the metal it made the fire even more dangerous for firefighters.



The fire started after the owner of L and H Auto, in Howard, Michigan, started buring material in a trash barrel.


Firefighters say that the owner of the business left for the evening after starting the fire. The unattended fire spread after the wind picked up and set the nearby trailor on fire.

Sparks started flying and then a power line fell on top of the trailor, landing on a nearby metal chain-linked fence.


Firefighters says they could here the loud buzzing of the live electrical current as it ran through the fence, which put firefighters at risk of being electricuted.


That is why firefighters says they had to wait until AEP arrived to shut off the power before they could attack the fire. A fire officials on scene says could have easily been avoided.


"The fire was going pretty good at that time but we can't jeopardize firefighters because all that's going to do is possibly make for a fatal. So, we just waited until they got there and then we did our job," says Chief Ed Leneway with the Howard Township Fire Department.


Firefighters says that Howard Township does have a clear burn ordinance against burning any material in open fire pits. This ordinance put the business owner at fault, which is why he may not be able to recover what was lost in the fire.


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