Westland couple loses everything in house fire that killed their family dog
WESTLAND, Mich. (FOX 2) - A Westland couple lost everything they owned including their beloved dog after a devastating house fire.
"The old saying you only got the clothes on your back?" said Monte Carmen.
"That’s what we have. We don’t have anything else," said Kris Radke. "This is it. What you see, that’s it."
The sobering and painful reality hit Monte Carmen and Kris Radke hard as they returned to their burned out home on August Avenue near Joy and Middle Belt roads one day later.
The FOX 2 drone flew overhead and captured the intensity of the aftermath.
"Yesterday was like a blur," Kris said.
"I was in shock yesterday," Monte said.
"Both of us were," Kris added. "We didn’t really realize the extent I guess of what happened, until we came back today. (We) looked and saw all the damage, and realized that it’s probably going to be a rebuild because everything is gone."
Tuesday evening was supposed to be a normal night with Monte making dinner for his fiancé Kris who was on her way home - when everything changed.
"I lit the grill. Closed the grill. Let it heat up. I went inside the house," Monte said. "Had a phone calls come out and the patio out there was probably 20-foot flames.
"I tried to put it out with the hose and that didn’t work, obviously. I shouldn’t have even bothered, honestly it was too big at that point. That’s how I got burned, I was trying to put the fire out."
They were unable to reach their beloved family dog Cupcake.
"She was blind. She didn’t make it. We lost her," Kris said. "So it’s been tough. A tough 24 hours."
The National Fire Protection Association says between 2014 and 2018, fire departments went to an average of nearly 9,000 home fires annually involving grills, hibachis or barbecues.
The association says grills should be placed well away from the home, deck railings, and out from under eaves and overhanging branches. And to never leave the grill unattended.
In the meantime the family put together a GoFundMe page hoping people can help in any way possible.
"We’re just trying to get through it. Trying to cope with reality right now," Monte said. "That’s the part I hate thinking about is that I don’t have nothing you know?"
Westland's fire chief says the fire started on the deck and the cause was likely that grill.
The National Fire Protection Agency has a grilling safety list you can read HERE.
If you would like to donate to the family's GoFundMe, GO HERE.