On Monday, September 18, 2023, at approximately 3:17 P.M., Meceola Central Dispatch received multiple calls regarding heavy smoke and then a report of a structure on fire.
Mecosta Township Fire responded to the address located in Mecosta Township on Old State Rd. as did mutual aid fire departments including Big Rapids City Fire, Big Rapids Township Fire, and Morley Area Fire Department. Additionally, as personnel were responding to the reported fire, the call was updated that a person was possibly trapped inside the fire. Mecosta County EMS and the Mecosta County Sheriff's Office also responded to assist in the report as well.
Emergency personnel arrived on scene and began attacking the fully involved structure fire. Upon arrival, personnel were hearing explosions and the roof of the structure was already beginning to
collapse. The responding fire departments were able to quickly knock down the fire and began to conduct a search of the area for the missing resident. Fire personnel were able to locate the resident
who was found to be deceased.
Further investigation at the scene revealed that the deceased, an 80-year-old Stanwood resident, had been welding in his workshop when the fire broke out. The resident had mobility issues and was not able to escape the fire. The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Team responded and assisted the fire personnel with the investigation. The fire was not suspicious and determined to be accidental.
The Mecosta County Sheriff's Office was assisted in this complaint by the Mecosta Township Fire & Rescue, Big Rapids Department of Public Safety – Fire Division, Big Rapids Township Fire, Morley Area Fire Department, Mecosta County EMS, Meceola Central Dispatch, Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Fire Investigation Team, Mecosta County Sheriff's Office Victim’s Services Unit, Mecosta Fire Chief’s Association Chaplin, the American Red Cross, Mohnke Funeral Home, and the MidMichigan Medical Examiner Group.