MONTAGUE - A suspected arson fire in the early morning hours Oct. 26 looks suspiciously similar to two unsolved fires which frightened the same neighborhood a year and a half ago.
Fortunately, again no one was injured in the fire which damaged an attached garage at a home in the 5100 block of Anderson Road.
A fire investigation team is continuing to investigate the cause of the most recent fire which, Montague Fire Chief Dennis Roesler said was limited to about $3,000 to $5,000 because of the quick response of firefighters.
The fire was discovered by the homeowner at 2:50 a.m. when she took her dogs outside. Montague Police Chief Robert Rought said she saw the glow of the fire reflected in the nearby woods, then went to a neighbor’s house to call 911.
Roesler said the fire was started inside the garage. “A screen was taken off a window, the window was opened and cardboard boxes were set on fire,” the fire chief said. Roesler said no accelerant was found at the scene. There were no vehicles in the garage at the time.
The damage was contained to charring of some wall studs, the window area, boxes and contents, and overall smoke damage, including discoloration along the eaves.
He said last Thursday that the fire is under investigation, and at this point, the cause is consider a “suspected arson.”
A fire investigation team has been assembled to investigate. Members are Lt. Ben Novak, of the White Lake Fire Authority, and Chief Roesler, Lt. Dan Roesler and Rich Kroll, Sr. of the Montague Fire Department.
Rought and Roesler said rewards will be offered for any information provided which leads the conviction of those involved in arson fires. Anyone with information can call the Arson Hotline at 1-800-44-ARSON, or Silent Observer at 72-CRIME. Roesler said the Arson Hotline will pay up to $5,000 for information.
The fire is similar to two suspected arson fires, the first discovered by a patrolling police officer on May 12, 2011.
The fire at the unoccupied home 7901 Cook St. was discovered at 8:30 p.m. and the one at 5170 Lakeview St. was reported a little over an hour later by the homeowners were was in the dwelling at the time. The Cook St. fire was started outside an attached garage, and the Lakeview fire was started outside the home’s rear entrance.
Following the May 2011 fires, Arson Hotline signs were posted outside the dwellings, but the cases remain unsolved.