Family home burns in Livonia, Christmas lights may be to blame

- Strong winds fueled a house fire in Livonia Monday night into Tuesday morning. The family escaped safely through a back window but it's serving as a warning this time of year for others.

The flames started in the garage and the exact cause is still under investigation. However, officials are using it as a warning so you can prevent something like this from happening in your home: don't overload your circuits.

It was 2:30 Tuesday morning when the Sulek family woke up to someone banging on their door and telling them to get out. 

"That's so very scary. We worry about the family but thank God everything is okay," Yoland Sulek said.

As it turns out, her next door neighbor's home was on fire, specifically the garage. The tires on the cars, the airbags, and the shocks all exploded. 

Livonia firefighters pulled up to the home on Lathers where a family of four was asleep inside when the fire erupted.

"The family was asleep. They were notified by another family member who had knocked on their back bedroom window, alerting them to the fire. They crawled out the back window. There was two children and a mom and a dad in the house. They all crawled out the back window safely," Livonia Fire Marshall Keith Bo said.

As fierce winds blew and fanned the flames, the family couldn't escape through the front door. The father threw his kids, 11 and 12, through the back bedroom window. 

"You can see how it blew across the front of the house. The front door was burned off so they had to go through the back window," Bo said.

Bo said it's too early to tell what started the fire in the garage. Of course, the family car along with a lawnmower and snowblower were all inside. But there were Christmas lights and extension cords on the home. Did the extension cords and Christmas lights cause the fire? It's still under investigation but Bo offered this advice. 

"Just make sure you don't overload your circuits this time of year," Bo said.

The family did not want to comment but is insured. They're now spending Christmas with relatives.

"They had a lot of Christmas stuff up: Christmas lights, Christmas decorations in the house. It's just a bad time of year to be burned out of your house," Bo said. "Everybody's safe and has a roof over their head tonight."

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