Hesperia-area home damaged by fire

March 26, 2015
Verta Batch gets a hug from her brother, Earl Wurthner of Rothbury, after this afternoon's fire.

Verta Batch gets a hug from her brother, Earl Wurthner of Rothbury, after a fire damaged her Hesperia-area home.

By Allison Scarbrough. OCP Editor.

BEAVER TWP. (Newaygo Co.) — A home located at 5275 N. Dickinson Rd. received extensive interior damage Thursday afternoon, March 26, due to a fire caused by a wood stove. No one was injured.

Batch fire -1The homeowners, Ernest and Verta Batch, did not have insurance on the home, and the family is planning to make arrangements to set up a fundraiser for the couple. Family members said they will contact OCP when details are finalized.

Hesperia and Walkerville fire departments were dispatched to the scene at 2:30 p.m. Professional Med Team Ambulance was called to the scene for standby.

The home is located at the end of a dirt road in a remote area near the Oceana/Newaygo county line. Ernest, who has a junkyard there, generously offers his junk cars to be used for Jaws of Life training for the Batch fire -4Hesperia Fire Department. “Good thing the fire department knows where we live,” said Ernest and Verta’s adult daughter, Kim Alexander, who lives nearby. “They’re going stay with me,” Kim said of her parents, who are currently displaced from their home due to the damage caused by the blaze. “I have four walls and a roof,” Kim said.

Verta, who was the only person inside the house when the fire started, said she heard a noise in the wood stove. Shortly thereafter, she saw flames going up to the ceiling. She grabbed her sewing materials and ran to a nearby house to call 911.

Batch fire -3Lt. Clint Muckey of the Hesperia Fire Department said smoke was coming from the eaves of the house when crews arrived on scene, and the firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the fire. “We’re assuming it was caused by the wood stove,” Muckey said. Because there is smoke damage throughout every room, the home is not currently livable.

In the meantime, the couple will stay with their daughter until they can get the house repaired. Several members of the tight-knit family arrived at the scene in support of the couple.

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