Fire destroys garage, damages home

BLAIRSBURG – On Tuesday night, five area fire departments responded to a fire at the rural Blairsburg home of Dusty and Paula Schutt.

At approximately 11:30 p.m. Tuesday night, Paula Schutt and her youngest daughter Jasmine heard a small explosion outside the home. Upon investigation, she observed flames coming from the northeast corner of the garage.

“I heard a boom and when I went to look, I saw a fire in the corner of the garage,” said Paula Schutt. “It went really quick.”

Immediately, they phoned 911.

“It was a very fast response,” said Dusty Schutt. “I was impressed at how quickly they got here.”

The Blairsburg and Williams Fire Departments arrived on the scene at about the same time, said Dusty Schutt.

Also providing mutual aid were the fire departments from Ellsworth, Jewell and Kamrar.

About the same time that the fire departments arrived on the scene, so did the thunderstorms, said Paula. The storms forced firefighters to battle the blaze through rain, lightening strikes and high winds.

The Schutt property is located at 2042 Saratoga Ave. in the Williams Fire District and Williams Fire Chief Jesse Hiemstra said the fire was extinguished by about 2:30 a.m.

The fire destroyed the two-car garage which included a small shop. Also destroyed was a separate shed and its contents. Four vehicles on the property were also destroyed. Parked in or near the garage were a Dodge Neon, a Ford Focus and a GMC truck. A Chevy Avalanche parked behind the

garage was also damaged by the intense heat.

The fire was so intense that it jumped from the unattached garage to the back section of the house, said Dusty Schutt.

“It went into what we call our back porch and into the rafters of two rooms off the back of the house,” said Dusty Schutt.

The house is uninhabitable at the present time due to the lack of electricity and the smoke and water damage, said Schutt. Due to the extensive damage, the family is uncertain if the home can be salvaged, he said.

Walking around the still smoldering remains on Wednesday afternoon, Dusty Schutt was appreciative of the work of the local fire departments.

“They all did a very good job,” he said. “They were organized and quick. They were all business.”