Fire re-ignites to burn down Hubbard Lake house

HUBBARD LAKE – Firefighters extinguished an attic fire Monday night in sub zero weather only to have it somehow spring back to life and burn the house down Tuesday morning.

The event occurred at 7717 W. Scott Road, a farmstead owned by Gerald Perkins and his wife, Gracie.

According to Hubbard Lake Fire Department Chief Wes Thiem, firefighters were called out to home at 8:45 p.m. Monday. When they arrived, there appeared to be a fire in the attic near the chimney, which they were able to extinguish.

Capt. Mike Eller said crews from his department and from the Sanborn Township Fire Department applied 750 gallons of water to the fire.

Firefighter Jason Siegert said he then used a T3XT infrared imaging camera to look for hot spots and found none. Crews eventually left the scene at around 11:30 p.m., he said.

Then at around 6:24 a.m. Tuesday, a newspaper carrier spotted the fire and knocked on the home of neighbor Mike Kelley to wake him. Kelley, who had been on the scene the night before, then reported the second fire to authorities.

When first responders arrived in the dark, the house was engulfed, Eller said. The temperature was around zero and it was windy, creating whiteout conditions throughout the morning.

“Last night we saved the house,” Eller said. “We were looking for hot spots and when we left they were out.”

Siegert said 10 firefighters responded to the scene Monday night and eight on Tuesday.

“I felt they did what they could,” Kelley said. “I don’t think there was a thing more the fire department could do. They did their very best under the conditions.”

Betsy Lehndorff can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5693. Follow Betsy on Twitter @bl_alpenanews.