DEXTER - Firefighters' quick efforts to put out a fire in a Hyland Avenue barn Friday night saved most of an adjacent two-story house. Smoke and water damage however, destroyed most of the belongings of the Wallace Decker family who rented the home from a Newport man. The family also lost their car to the fire.
Decker, his wife, Clarice, and one of the couple's two children, Abram, 4, were home when the fire was reported at about 8:45 p.m., according to Dexter Fire Chief Melvin Wyman. They managed to escape the fire without injury, he said. Another son, Gary, 19, was away when the fire started, friends of the family said.
Wyman said the fire started in the barn but was not considered suspicious.
"We made a good stop," Wyman said, in breaking down the fire before it consumed the two-story adjacent house. "We pumped a lot of water on the barn and stopped it." An excavator was used to lift and move the metal barn roof that had fallen onto the burning debris, the fire chief said.
To help the family, who had no insurance for their belongings, the First Free Baptist Church of Dexter is collecting clothing and money, according to Steve McDonald, assistant pastor of the church. He said a bank fund will be established on Monday for the family. Anyone wishing to help the Deckers can contact the church at 924-7419.
In the meantime, the church is providing the family with temporary housing and the American Red Cross is helping to fill other immediate needs, McDonald said.
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