BIG PRAIRIE TWP., Mich. (WZZM) - Two women were able to escape a fire that destroyed their home thanks to the help of a neighbor.
Kevin Tobias was just about to head out and run some errands with his family Thursday afternoon.
"I could hear a crackling sound, and it kind of sounded like fire crackers or something. Then I thought, that's a lot of fire crackers."
Through the woods, he saw the source of the sound, "flames shooting out of the side of the house." He and his son ran to the front door.
"We must have yelled eight (or) ten times, and I was to the point where I was going to kick the door in. Then I heard a voice say, 'Yes, what do you want,' and I yelled, 'your house is on fire!'"
The two women at home came outside and the four tried to put out the flames themselves. Once the flames seemed to be under control, Tobias says the women headed back inside.
"I said, this place is still on fire because you could see smoke coming out of the chimney on top. You could tell there was flamage inside that top."
That's around the time trucks from several fire departments took over.
"They were fortunate enough to get out before we got here," said Chief Keith Baker of the Big Prairie Twp. Fire Dept. "Looks like right now the cause of the fire is the homeowners were burning in a barrel outside, and the fire got out of that barrel and caused some weeds to start fire. Then the fire entered throughout the outside of the house through a post, and caught the roof on fire."
The house is a total loss. The residents were too upset to go on camera, but say they are very thankful for their neighbors' help.