UNDETERMINED CAUSE – In the image above shows two Tawas City firefighters helping each other with their gear as they prepare to battle the blaze, the cause of which was undetermined at press time.

TAWAS CITY – As noted last week, the Tawas City Fire Department (TCFD) – along with the East Tawas Fire Department (ETFD) – was dispatched to a structure fire at about 2 p.m. on March 29.

The incident occurred at 217 Second Ave. in Tawas City, shortly before this publication went to print, and TCFD Chief Steve Masich has since provided an update.

“Residing at the home were Mr. and Mrs. Sean Wrathell along with their children,” he stated.

“A witness seen flames coming from the outside of the building at the rear side of the home and called 911,” Masich advised. “Some of the residents were home at the time when the fire occurred as they heard glass cracking coming from the outside of the home due to the high heat.”

He pointed out that the occupants and their pet dog were able to exit the home safely, with the assistance of Tawas City Police Department (TCPD) Chief Matthew Klosowski-Lorenz, who was first on scene.

Masich said that the family’s pet cats also survived the heat and smoke, as they were found by firefighters during the salvage and overhaul process.

He stated that the arriving fire personnel quickly put out the flames and hot embers, and extinguished locations where the fire had extended inside two walls.

The main fire was confined to the outside walls and one interior room. Smoke and water damage was also reported in the interior of the structure, and Masich noted that the renters do have insurance.

“Mr. Wrathell injured his hand while exiting the home,” the chief added.

Crews were on scene for approximately three hours. As of the following day, Masich said the preliminary cause of the fire was undetermined.

In addition to the ETFD and TCPD, the TCFD was assisted by Iosco County EMS, Iosco County 9-1-1/Central Dispatch and the Iosco County Sheriff’s Office. The Oscoda Township Fire Department was also on standby in East Tawas and Tawas City.

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