Candle near laundry basket ignites house fire
Four residents of an Ypsilanti home received emergency shelter on Saturday after an unattended candle near a laundry basket started a fire that caused $20,000 in damage.
The Ypsilanti Fire Department was called to the home on First Court at about 3:45 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call that the home was on fire and someone may have been inside.
All occupants had left the home, said Capt. Michelle Stanbury, but firefighters arrived on the scene to smoke outside of the home and the crackling sound of the blaze coming from the second story of the home.
A resident of the home had been burning candles in an upstairs bedroom earlier in the day, Stanbury said.
The woman told firefighters that she went upstairs for a pair of socks from a laundry basket, and moved the candle. But, after deciding it was too close to the bed, she then moved it again.
"She went outside ... and heard her smoke detector," Stanbury said. Later, firefighters determined that the candle may have been kicked into the laundry basket.
The woman had tried to put the fire out with a fire extinguisher, but the force of the fire was too much for it, Stanbury said.
Two of the home's four residents were home at the time, and both were unharmed, Stanbury said. They received assistance from the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross.
Damage was estimated at $20,000, which Stanbury said is not huge for a house fire. However, the extent of the smoke damage requires full drywall replacement in the home, among other repairs.
Due to the initial call that someone may have been inside the home, assistance was sought from Ypsilanti Township, Ann Arbor and Pittsfield Township.
However, Ypsilanti firefighters were able to cancel that mutual aid call, and they had the scene cleared in about an hour.