Blaze destroys home in Rapid River

RAPID RIVER – A river-front home in Rapid River was destroyed by fire Wednesday. No one was home when the fire broke out and no injuries were reported by firefighters battling the blaze.

The single-story home of Louis and Cathy Gabriel, 9955 U.65 Lane, was fully engulfed when a neighbor notified emergency personnel of the structure fire shortly before 11:30 a.m., said Masonville Township Fire Chief Jerry Ruether this morning.

No one was home at the time of the fire and the couple did not have any pets, he added.

Upon firefighters’ arrival at the scene, there was heavy smoke and visible flames coming out of the home’s windows, Ruether said. The smoke could be seen from miles away.

The house is located on the mouth of the Whitefish River. A strong wind from off the water hampered firefighting efforts, Ruether noted. Once the front window blew out, the wind fueled the blaze inside the structure, he added.

Three fire departments responded to the house fire. In addition to Masonville Township volunteers, firefighters from Ensign and Brampton township volunteer fire departments provided mutual aid.

Masonville Emergency Medical Services personnel were on standby at the site.

The Red Cross also assisted firefighters and the homeowners who arrived at their property later.

Ruether said firefighters were at the scene for nearly four hours and cleared the area around 3:18 p.m.

The home was a total loss and was insured, said Ruether. Cause of the blaze is undetermined.