BY MICHAEL WALTON
TRAVERSE CITY — An early-morning fire destroyed a home in Grand Traverse County.
A husband and wife, their daughter, and a foreign exchange student were inside when the fire started Friday at about 3 a.m., Grand Traverse County Metro Fire officials said. They safely escaped.
Flames fully engulfed the structure by the time fire crews arrived on scene. Firefighters mostly extinguished the blaze in roughly two hours, but it was too late to save the house.
“It’s gone,” Metro Fire Chief Pat Parker said.
The fire occurred off Five Mile Road between Pinebrook and Prouty roads.
The house was located atop a hill. Fire engines could not climb the home’s icy driveway to reach the blaze, so firefighters had to haul hoses up from the bottom of the hill, Parker said.
The structure eventually collapsed into the basement, and fire crews used an excavator to dig through the debris in order to extinguish remaining hot spots.
Parker said the cause remains unknown, but officials do not suspect it was suspicious.
Investigators were interviewing family members as of press time and would not release their names.