Dogs start fire that destroys Niles homePublished 10:45am Thursday, January 24, 2013
A Niles home destroyed by fire Wednesday afternoon was the childhood home of Niles Charter Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold.
Firefighters responded to the two-story structure at 3009 S. Third St. owned by Kenneth and Kathryn Greer around 2:30 p.m.
Kathryn, who was home at the time of the fire, told Brovold a dog knocked a candle into a basket full of mismatched socks. Kathryn poured water on the basket and, thinking she had extinguished the fire, placed the basket in the kitchen and went about her business.
When she returned to the kitchen a short while later, the wall was on fire.
Brovold said knowing the home was an advantage for responding firefighters.
“Everyone was wondering, ‘how the heck does he know the layout?’ ” said Brovold, who lived in the house until his early 20s.
No one was injured and the family’s dogs escaped harm, but a cat died in the fire.
Brovold said knowing it was his former home didn’t affect him during the firefight.
That changed later when he called his mother.
“When she choked up I did, too,” he said.
The fire remains under investigation. Arson is not suspected at this time.