Multi-million dollar lakeshore mansion destroyed by fire.

June 3, 2022

Multi-million dollar lakeshore mansion destroyed by fire.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

PENTWATER TOWNSHIP — Eight fire departments responded to a massive fire Thursday night, June 2, at a luxurious lakeshore home near Pentwater.

No injuries occurred, and no one was inside the house at the time of the blaze.

Pentwater Fire Chief Jonathan Hughart said fire crews were on scene all night and into the morning fighting the fire that ripped through the approximate 5,000-square-foot home at 6635 Ridge Road. “We were on scene for just over 13 hours,” said the chief.

The home is owned by Matt Halbower, who owns the Double JJ Resort in Rothbury — the venue of the Electric Forest Festival that will take place June 23-26. 

Norman Halbower, who is Matt Halbower’s father, said Matt is vacationing in Rome and unavailable to comment. Norman said the 5-year-old home contained many “irreplaceable” furnishings that are now destroyed. He said that the family plans to rebuild the home. 

“A lot of people would come up with their boats just to look at the house and then turn around,” he said. “It was that pretty.”

The home was insured, said Chief Hughart. “It’s a total loss. From my understanding, it was a multi-million dollar home.”

The home did not have sprinkler system, said Hughart. 

Firefighters from nearly all Oceana County departments including Pentwater, Hart, Shelby-Benona, Walkerville, Crystal Township and Grant Township, along with Mason County departments from Riverton Township and Ludington responded to the scene.

Also assisting were the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office, Pentwater Police Department, Life EMS, and the Department of Natural Resources.

“Because of debris, we were having dune grass that was catching on fire, so we called in the DNR,” said Hughart. “Also, Ludington Fire Department’s boat, we attempted to bring them down and have them spray water from the lake to the house.”

A long, narrow driveway approximately ¾ of a mile to the Lake Michigan estate made accessing the fire extremely challenging.

The fire was called into 911 “when someone  from the beach saw white smoke in the area,” said Chief Hughart. Pentwater firefighters were dispatched to the area for a smoke investigation and ended up discovering a mansion was on fire. 

Firefighters pumped water from Pentwater Lake at the boat ramp on Longbridge Road. “Hart’s tanker alone pumped 40,000 gallons of water, and we had six other tankers there dropping water, too.

“We believe it originated in the basement, but it traveled up in the walls and got into the attic and spread through the whole house.

”It’s probably going to be undetermined for quite a while,” said Chief Hughart of the cause. An investigation will not take place unless the insurance company requests it, he said. 

The chief said firefighters will return to the scene Friday and Saturday to check for rekindling.

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