Family of Eight Forced Out of Home By Fire

By: Sherene Tagharobi Email
By: Sherene Tagharobi Email

It had all the makings of a nightmare on Christmas -- a family of eight mostly sound asleep in their Blackman Township home when something went wrong.

"I woke up, went to make a pot of coffee, and the lights and stuff weren't working in the kitchen so I ran downstairs to check the fuses and one of the fuses popped," said resident Thomas Maki.

That's when Maki's daughter smelled smoke in her bedroom upstairs. It was hardly 6 a.m.

"I woke everybody up, got everybody out of the house and called 9-1-1," Maki said.

"I was terrified. I was like oh my God, my kids, my kids, my kids, need to get my kids," said Shawn Maki, his wife.

Thanks to their quick feet, everyone including their snake and dog made it out okay.

The fire only burned in the upstairs bedroom where it started and you can tell just looking at this mattress how bad it was up there. As for the rest of the house, there's smoke and water damage throughout including under the Christmas tree.

"I just finished shopping last night....just last night," Thomas Maki said.

Relatives helped salvage what they could: hunting rifles, valuables, and of course some holiday treats.

"My brother in laws, really good family. Thank God they all came out," he said.

Blackman Township Fire Investigators say the Makis have renters' insurance, which should help cover their losses.

"It's pretty devastating. I haven't gotten all my thoughts around yet," Maki said.

"Everybody was supposed to come here for the holidays so it was like oh no, it ain't happening, we gotta go somewhere else now," Shawn Maki said.

They'll spend the holiday at their relative's house instead.

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