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Posted on Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

3 departments battle house fire in Salem Township

By Kyle Feldscher


Firefighters work to knock down the flames at a home in the 8100 block of Stonegate Drive in Salem Township.

Daniel Brenner |

Firefighters battled a blaze Friday afternoon at a house in the 8100 block of Stonegate Drive in Salem Township Friday afternoon.

Huron Valley Ambulance spokeswoman Joyce Williams confirmed Salem Township, Superior Township and Lyon Township firefighters were on scene fighting the blaze. Flames were spreading throughout the two-story home as of 2 p.m. Friday afternoon.

One Huron Valley Ambulance crew was on scene but no one appeared to be injured at the home, Williams said. It's unclear if anyone was home at the time the fire started.

Thumbnail image for salemtwpfire.jpg

The fire engulfed a two-story home on Stonegate Drive.

Firefighters were dispatched shortly after 1 p.m. to the home in the northeast corner of Washtenaw County. Heavy smoke was visible as fire crews approached the home, and Salem Township firefighters requested tankers from other departments to help extinguish the fire.

Northfield Township and Ann Arbor Township firefighters also responded to the scene.

Salem Township Fire Chief James Rachwal said there was no fire hydrant nearby and all water had to be brought to the home. The second floor of the home was completely ablaze when he arrived at the home.

The fire spread to the first floor of the vacant home, which might have been waiting for new residents to move in, Rachwal said.

Winds and icy conditions complicated the firefighters’ job of knocking down the flames. Rachwal lauded the efforts of other departments who helped Salem Township firefighters extinguish the blaze.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Photographer Daniel Brenner contributed to this report.

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



Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 5:08 p.m.

This was not a vacant house. This house was built in the 50's by John Reardan as part of Stonegate Orchards. Sam Bailo purchased the house in 1971 and the Bailo family owned the house until selling it December 28, 2012. The new owners had moved most of their possessions into the house and they had been living their since December 28, 2012. It appears that the fire may have been caused by the fireplace or wood burning insert, hence the pile of firewood on the front lawn. The house had been rented out the prior year and the wood burning fireplace had been used quite often by the tenant. Why no fire hydrant? The house is located on a 13 acre parcel of property. Back in the day this was quite a house. It had 5 bedrooms, a den, and three and a half baths. Many great family memories occured in this house. This was a very sad day. Craig Bailo


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 1:59 p.m.

I have always wondered how a vacant home could catch fire. But of course that's ignorant. Rodents could chew wires, a furnace or air conditioner could overheat (?), and then there's arson. It will be interesting to learn the cause of the fire. Every day I'm so very appreciative of and in awe of firefighters.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 6:24 a.m.

No fire hydrant near by? Isn't that against code?


Thu, Feb 7, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

In the country?? No code for there!


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:07 a.m.

It's hard to tell but in both photos: is that piles of split firewood on the front lawn? Hmmm.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

Nope, Not New Construction! This house has been there for many years, I went to school with this family and my parents knew them! Very Sad!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:34 p.m.

With that kind of devastation I am wondering if it isn't arson. There are a lot of empty homes in the area. That house was my favorite. If I had known it was empty I would have considered it. So sad. Glad to know no one was inside and no one lost anything of value. What a mess that house ended up looking like.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:23 p.m.

So sorrowful. Glad no one was injured and extremely sorry for the owners of the home.

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 9:05 p.m.

Oh that photo is hurtful. Looks like the home will be a total loss. If this is where I think it is, it's fairly new construction...Yikes.