PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. — A family in Plainfield Township got out with just the clothes they were wearing. What started as a fire at their home ended with an explosion.
Since it was the Fourth of July, Julia Dorr assumed the sound was fireworks.
"All of the sudden I heard a big boom," says Dorr, who is on vacation staying in a camper outside her sister's home next door. "It shook the camper and blew the screen out."
The family inside the home didn't even know the fire was going on.
"It was found by a passerby, they were delivering newspapers," says Kyle Svoboda, district fire chief of the Plainfield Fire Department. "They knocked on the door and got everybody out, all six occupants escaped safely."
Svoboda says the fire started in the garage, but the explosion caused it to spread to other parts of the house.
"As the district chief was walking up to the structure, a 100-pound propane tank inside the garage exploded," he says.
Positively, nobody was hurt. But the family lost everything.
"They have nothing right now," says Dorr.
That's why she decided to step in.
"A lot of people are going to come gawking today to look at what happened," says Dorr.
So she made a simple sign and placed it outside the home, asking people driving by for donations.
"A gift to the family, for the community to come together on Independence Day," says Dorr.
The simple gesture raised close to $400 in 24 hours. Dorr says sign will remain as long as the family needs help.
"We want to help them out in the best way we can," she says.
Investigators are still looking for that propane tank that exploded. They believe it could be anywhere within a half mile of the home and is crucial to the investigation. It would be in the area of 6 Mile and US-131. You are asked to contact the Plainfield Fire Department if you spot it.
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