Fire destroys Benton Township house

A fire destroyed this home at 407 East Napier Ave. in Benton Twp. early Sunday morning. Benton Township Fire Department Lt. James Fogarty said the cause has not yet been determined.

BENTON TOWNSHIP — Two firefighters suffered injuries to their hands while battling a blaze early Sunday morning that destroyed a house in Benton Township.

Benton Township Fire Department Lt. Michael Tavolacci and Lt. Gus Parsons were back to work Monday after being injured at a house fire at 407 E. Napier Avenue, the corner of Napier and Columbus avenues. Lt. James Fogarty said the two were treated at the scene by a Medic 1 ambulance crew. One suffered a puncture wound and another nerve damage, he said.

The fire department was called at 2:21 a.m. Sunday to the single family house owned by Clarence Davis. He, his wife, and a third adult had left the residence between 11 p.m. and midnight to go out for the evening and the fire was called in by a passerby who saw flames shooting from the roof, Fogarty said.

When the fire department arrived, flames had burned the roof and firefighters had to pull down the living room ceiling to get to the fire. Fogarty said the house is a total loss and the occupants have been referred to the Red Cross for help. 

The loss is estimated at $125,000 to the house and $100,000 to contents. Firefighters were at the scene until about 6:15 a.m. and have not yet determined the cause of the fire, Fogarty said.

Benton Township firefighters were assisted by St. Joseph Township Fire Station 2, and the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety.

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