2013-04-04 / Local News

Leelanau Twp. couple escapes fire; home and garage a complete loss


FORTY-TWO firefighters responded to a Leelanau Township house fire Saturday. From left are firefi ghters Josh Rutila, Captain John Houdek with hand raised and Dan DeVriendt. 
Photo by Peter Holmes Davidson FORTY-TWO firefighters responded to a Leelanau Township house fire Saturday. From left are firefi ghters Josh Rutila, Captain John Houdek with hand raised and Dan DeVriendt. Photo by Peter Holmes Davidson A Leelanau Township couple escaped injury Saturday as a fire consumed their home on N. Manitou Trail south of Northport.

Tom and Amy Kohler were home at 8241 N. Manitou Trail about 11:45 Saturday morning when Amy Kohler went to the garage and discovered open flames in the front of the structure between two vehicles.

Richard Deering noticed the smoke as he drove by on M-22 and stopped to help.

“He tried to get one of the vehicles out of the garage, but it was too hot,” Leelanau Township Fire Chief Hugh Cook said.

Deering was able to help Amy Kohler and her husband, Tom, who had undergone knee replacement surgery three days previous, escape the home.

“(Deering) put Tom in the back of his truck to get him out of the way and safe,” Cook said. “It’s hard to get around with a walker on the ice.”

Forty-two firefighters from Leelanau Township, Suttons Bay and Leland Township were on the scene for four hours.

The garage and home are a complete loss. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Cook said.

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