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Posted on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 7:24 p.m.

Fire crews put out early morning Ann Arbor Township blaze

By John Counts

The unoccupied house of an elderly man who was in nursing care at the time caught fire early Thursday morning, officials said.

The Ann Arbor Township Fire Department was called to the man's residence in the 600 block of Hampstead Lane at 7:18 a.m., Lt. Aaron Blackford said.

The man, who is either in his late 80s or early 90s, was not home at the time. Blackford said he was in nursing care and was set to return home next week. Now with the fire and smoke damage, that is in doubt, officials said.

Fire crews were first notified of the fire by neighbors.

“They heard a bang, which was probably the windows breaking,” Blackford said. "(They) then looked out and saw fire coming out of the house. We had fire coming out of windows at the back of the house.”

Ann Arbor Township fire was first on the scene and had the blaze out in about 15 minutes, Blackford said. The fire is believed to have started in the basement and worked its way up into the living room.

“The guys were aggressive and got it knocked out quick,” Blackford said.

While not a total loss, the house sustained extensive smoke damage.

Fire departments from Scio and Superior townships also responded to the fire. Crews cleared the scene around 9:56 a.m. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.