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Fire engulfs Okemos home early Sunday

Posted at 4:42 AM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 04:42:09-04

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. — An investigation is underway into a fire that tore through a home early Sunday in Okemos.

The fire started around 1:45 a.m. on Sunday on the 3600 block of Beech Tree Lane, near Jolly and Dobie roads.

Dr. Mehboob Fatteh says he and his wife were sound asleep when they got an unusual wake-up.

“She woke me up and she said someone is ringing the doorbell,” Fatteh said. “So I went out and there were police cars and flashing lights and all that and he said that there is a fire next door and the embers are falling on your roof.”

Dr. Fatteh says he went out and saw it was the home of his friends Vidya and Piyush Desai.

“I was shocked,” Dr. Fatteh said. “I was shocked for two reasons, number one the fire itself but more importantly they are friends. We have been neighbors for a long time and we know them personally.”

He says the couple planned to visit England next Wednesday.

“Their passports probably was burnt. Everything was inside,” Dr. Fatteh said.

The scene, grappling everything with their dear friends was emotional.

“Obviously, they were emotional. They were crying so my wife came and met my friend's wife and hugged them and asked if they wanted to sleep here but their daughter lives nearby so they went there,” he explained.

Meridian Township Fire Chief Mike Hamel says the smoke alarm was key. The couple immediately got out, went to their neighbor's house across the street and dialed 9-1-1.

“The family got out okay. The owner had a little bit of singed hair but okay and no firefighter injuries,” Chief Hamel said.

Chief Hamel says the two-story house is a total loss and they’ll have to rebuild.

“Nobody wants to go through this, it’s very bad,” Dr. Fatteh said.

The Fire Chief said they won’t know exactly what happened for a few days. News 10 will continue to follow their progress.

"[We] basically spent about an hour and a half, two hours putting water on the fire, and now we're working on cleaning up and seeing if we can salvage anything for the resident," Chief Hamel said.

Meridian Township Fire and Police, East Lansing Fire, and other agencies were on scene.

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