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Fire causes extensive damage at Merten’s

Fire and smoke at the Merten garage fire.Fire last Friday afternoon, Aug. 1, destroyed a garage, dog grooming area, kennel and workshop at the Don and Donna Merten home, 326 South Second Street, in Albion.
Albion Fire and Rescue was called to the scene at about 2:30 p.m. to find the structure engulfed in flames, according to Fire Chief Bruce Benne.
The blaze apparently started when Don Merten was using a grinder on an ATV, and sparks from the grinder ignited surrounding materials.
Merten first tried to extinguish the fire with buckets of water, but it quickly spread out of control and the fire department was called.
The blaze did not spread to the Merten’s home, but did destroy a van, the ATV, and contents of the garage and workshop areas, Benne said. He estimated total damage at more than $50,000. The large plume of black smoke could be seen from several miles.
The fire caused some smoke damage to the house, and melted vinyl siding and vinyl fencing on the proprety.