Family survives house fire, several pets dead

Published: Nov. 4, 2017 at 8:23 PM EDT
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A family of seven feels lucky to be alive after their home was destroyed in a fire.

It happened Friday night around 8 p.m. on the 3700 block of Parnall road in Jackson County's Blackman Township.

Several pets died in the fire.

The family tells News 10 they had just stepped into the home after unloading their five kids from the car when they heard a loud crash.

The entire kitchen was up in flames.

"I knew by the time the fire department got here everything was going to be destroyed,” said homeowner Mark VanHouten. “By the time I looked over and saw the flames it was bad.”

Anything that wasn’t destroyed by fire now has water damage.

The five children were not hurt, but are a bit shaken up.

“To hear my 7-year-old asking me if we are homeless, are things I never wanted to hear come from her mouth," said homeowner Maranda VanHouten.

Neighbors nearby heard the explosion and jumped immediately into action.

"We jumped up, came out here, and made sure everything was ok,” said Ronald Herr, a neighbor nearby. “We saw the flames and got the kids in the house.”

The family tells News 10 fire officials are not letting them back into the home to salvage any personal belongings.

"Right now it’s just kind of day by day,” said Maranda. “We are just taking it day by day and trying to get back on our feet"

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The family believes an electrical or gas problem could have been a factor.