Home burns while owners honeymoon

There is no good time for your house to catch fire, but a blaze in Berrien County this week sure came at a bad time for a Hagar Township couple.

Kevin Rawson and Samantha Hoader were married last Saturday. On Sunday, they left on their honeymoon.

Fast forward to early Thursday morning: A neighbor spotted flames coming from the unoccupied home of the newlyweds on Cherry Avenue. The neighbor called the fire department. The fire department quickly got the fire under control-although the damage was extensive.

“There was no one home and as we started to look around we noticed that there was, you know, Mr. and Mrs. decorations in the front yard and ‘I'm getting married’ (written on the back window) on the car in the driveway,” said Chief Bob Ruff of the North Berrien Fire and Rescue.
“We were able to contact the owner's parents, and they came out to the scene and they explained that the owners had just gotten married five days before, that and they were actually in the upper peninsula on their honeymoon.”

The couple had picked a spot so remote that cell service was not available. The chief says that relatives were finally able to contact the couple through social media on Thursday.

The situation was all too sobering for Chief Ruff. “I can’t imagine coming home; actually, I myself am getting married next weekend. That’s all I could think about, is I couldn’t imagine coming back from my honeymoon and finding all of my, you know, the house, you know the house was insured, thankfully, so the sticks and bricks of the structure, you know will get rebuilt, but all the memories that got burned up on the inside, that’s what people don’t realize is the contents inside are really the hardest part to lose, and they lost most of all of that.”

The cause of the fire is undetermined, although the chief found no evidence of foul play. It’s suspected that the fire was probably electrical in nature. The worst damage was done where the electric meter was mounted to the wall.


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