A vacant home on Battle Creek's east side was destroyed by an early morning fire Thursday.

Battle Creek firefighters were called to 16 Fourth St. at 6:18 a.m. and when the first engines arrived firefighters found the house engulfed in fire. The structure had collapsed and houses on both sides were damaged by the heat.

Firefighters used an aerial truck to fight the fire. Eighteen firefighters and a battalion chief responded.

Cheryl Way said her grandson lives in the house on the east side of the fire but he was away. She said the house that was destroyed has been vacant since he moved in more than two years ago but that people frequently go into the house.

Fire Marshall Quincy Jones said natural gas and electric service had been discontinued and officials still were trying to confirm the owner of the single family house, which was destroyed with an estimated loss of $10,000.

A Michigan State Police trooper with a dog inspected the scene to determine if accelerants were used. The cause remains under investigation, Jones said.

Michigan State Police Trooper Joel Service and his dog Ki search the rubble of a Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017 fire with Battle Cree Fire Marshal Quincy Jones. Firefighters continued to soak hot spots late Thursday at 16 Fourth St. (Photo: Trace Christenson/The Enquirer)

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