Home » Local News, Rotating Features

Elderly man dies in house fire on LaForest Ave.

Submitted by on February 9, 2020 – 12:30 pmNo Comment

An elderly Alpena man died in a house fire Saturday, on LaForest Avenue.

A city police officer and an off duty firefighter were first to arrive on scene, shortly after 11 a.m., and attempted to enter the house but were pushed back by flames.

When firefighters arrived they entered the residence and were able to rescue a 76 year-old woman.  An 84 year-old man was also removed from the home but died at the scene.  His name has not been released pending notification of family.

Preliminary findings indicate the fire most likely started in the front room where the couple was sitting.  City Fire Chief Bill Forbush said there was evidence the man was smoking while on oxygen therapy, both of which are thought to be factors in the fire.  Forbush said oxygen can rapidly increase the intensity of flames.

There were no working smoke alarms in the home, but Forbush said it appears the couple was awake so that may not have played a role in the fire or the man’s death.  Damage was contained to the front room of the house. 

A police officer was injured while attempting rescue and was treated and released from the hospital.

Charter Township of Alpena firefighters assisted at the scene.