Strong wind gusts cause house fire in Cass County
55 mile per hour winds whipped through Michiana Wednesday, causing call after call of downed wires and fires. ABC 57 spoke with the victim of one of those house fires in Cass County.
“Wind is not a fireman’s best friend, so it’s always a challenge and a danger,” said Newberg Township Fire Department Assistant Chief, Bryan Rifenberg.
Falissa Jackson lost the home she’s been renting for three years Wednesday because of wind.
“Oh my god. I thank God we weren’t in bed. It didn’t happen in the middle of the night. We might not have made it out,” said Jackson.
“We were watching TV, my husband and I, my son [in the living room]. We heard a loud explosion. It was so loud that it sounded like someone shot a gun right off beside our head,” she said.
It was actually an electrical fire caused by a “power surge from the wind taking power lines down outside the house,” said Asst. Chief Rifenberg.
Our First Warning Neighborhood weather team was tracking gusts of up to 55 miles per hour.
“Due to the high winds, about every department in the county was out chasing power lines and small fires and when we got here, the house was full of smoke and the wind was at our disadvantage,” said Asst. Chief Rifenberg.
“It could choke you really quick. I mean there was no breathing in it,” said Jackson.
“The wind was out of the West…which was no good for keeping the fire under control in the beginning. It probably wouldn’t have been as bad,” said Asst. Chief Rifenberg.
“God be with us. There’s nothing left,” said Falissa Jackson, as she looked at her house.
Nothing--save some singed string lights and sopping wet clothes.
With the wind still whipping at her wisps of hair, Jackson peeked once more through her front door, still trying to process what happened.
“I don’t know where we go from here. I don’t know where to even start at,” she said.
Falissa says she doesn’t have home insurance, so they’re going to have to find a way to replace everything that was inside the house.
If you would like to help out, you can send things to her brother’s house at the following address:
13561 Lumley St.
Jones, MI, 49061