Fire of home at Hillside Boarding and Kennel location started by electrical short

MITCHELL – The house fire on Byrantsville Road was started by an electrical short, according to Huron Volunteer Fire Department Chief Bill Kinser.

“This was a huge, hot fire,” added Chief Kinser. “The fire rekindled yesterday (Monday) and we were able to get it under control quickly. The sun was up and I was able to spend some time on the scene and found that the fire was burning the hottest in the garage near the electrical box. A mouse or squirrel could have chewed on the wiring or it got nicked somehow causing a short.”

Kinser believes the fire had burned for a few hours before the family heard an explosion.

“The fire had been burning a while when the family heard the explosion in the garage area and ran outside, and reported the fire,” said Chief Kinser.

Firefighters from Huron, Marion, Mitchell, Indian Creek, Oolitic, Orleans, and Shawswick Volunteer Fire Departments rushed to 1149 Bryantsville Road at Hillside Boarding and Kennel Sunday night. The fire was reported at 10:33 p.m.

The home and business are owned by Sherry and Randy Tolbert. Firefighters reported all of the dogs were removed from their kennels and are safe. The Tolberts thanked the firemen, medical staff, and law enforcement that responded to the scene calling them “the heroes of our community and our hearts” in a Facebook post.

“When we arrived on the scene the fire was well ahead of us,” said Chief Kinser. “The winds were coming from the northwest which caused the fire to blow up and over and into the barn. The family had just had $3,000 worth of straw delivered. It is still burning and will for a while. Then the winds shifted and the fire traveled to the house.”

A double-layer roof hampered efforts.

“We had a roof over the roof and couldn’t break through to the fire between the layers,” said Chief Kinser. “This was an extremely hot and large fire.”

Firefighters used more than 70,000 gallons of water to extinguish the blaze and were on the scene until 6 a.m. Monday morning. Firefighters returned at 7:13 a.m. Tuesday when the fire rekindled. Firefighters extinguished several hot spots. Chief Kinser says the scene will smolder for days.

The fire consumed the family’s home, garage, barn, and a small kennel area next to the house. The boarding facility was not damaged.