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Smoke damages home, owner gone at time of fire

June 6, 2018 GMT

A home at 1173 N. Ellis Road in Pere Marquette Township was damaged by smoke Tuesday morning from a fire of an unknown cause.

“(The smoke) was smouldering a long time — smoke and heat damage throughout the house,” said Pere Marquette Fire Chief Larry Gaylord.

Gaylord said no flames were found by firefighters, but because there was so much smoke a hole was cut in the roof to let the heat and smoke escape quickly from the home.

The owner and long-time resident of the house, Donna Liebetreu, is currently at a nursing home in Grand Haven. Liebetreu’s daughter Vickie Williams said her mother, 80, broke her hip just a short time ago, which proved to be a blessing in disguise.

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“Thank God she wasn’t in (the home),” Williams said. “If she hadn’t have broke her hip, she would have been in there.”

The fire was called in about 7:30 this morning when neighbor Jackie Sroka saw smoke billowing out of the home while she was on her way out the door for work.

Ludington firefighters assisted Pere Marquette at the scene. The home was insured.