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‘Suspicious’ trailer fire under investigation

by CJ Carnacchio

May 02, 2012

Oxford firefighters battled a blaze Friday at 431 Shummard Branch inside the Lake Villa Manufactured Home Community. Photo by C.J. Carnacchio.
Oxford Fire Chief Pete Scholz said it was definitely a "suspicious" fire, but whether the cause was accidental or intentional remains to be seen.

Shortly before 5 p.m. Friday, firefighters were summoned to a house fire at 431 Shummard Branch (near Laurel Leah) inside the Lake Villa Manufactured Home Community, located off Lakeville Rd.

Apparently, the fire started with a nearby couch located outside the manufactured home, according to Scholz.

From the couch, the fire traveled up the exterior wall of the home, entered the attic space and burned through the roof.

"The crew was able to knock it down and keep (the structural damage confined) pretty much to that roof and attic area," Scholz said. "The inside suffered water and smoke damage throughout."

Scholz deemed the home a total loss.

"They had to pull the ceiling out of the entire inside of it, so it's pretty well trashed," he said.

Fortunately, the dwelling was vacant.

It's owned by the park itself and will be removed.

The Oakland County Sheriff's Fire Investigations Unit is looking into the blaze.

A Lake Villa resident told sheriff's deputies she spotted some youths walking away from the burning home and took photos of them. Deputies were able to identify three juveniles, two males and a female, all age 15.

When deputies interviewed one of the boys, he told them he and his friends saw the smoke coming from the house, so they went over to check it out.

Once they saw it was on fire, the other boy called 9-1-1 to report it.