By Jim Newell
The Orion Township Fire Department responded to two structure fires this week, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is investigating one of the fires as a possible case of arson.
Firefighters battled a fully-engulfed barn fire in the 400 block of Conklin Road early Tuesday morning, and detectives are now investigating the cause.
“Our detectives are working with our arson unit investigators. The initial indicators are that it could be an intentionally set fire that spread to the barn,” said Lt. Dan Toth, commander of the Orion Township Oakland County Sheriff’s Office substation.
Anyone who may have seen a suspicious vehicle, individuals or circumstances in the area between 2-4:30 a.m. should contact Det. Tom Bisio with the Orion OCSO at 248-858-5454, Toth said.
Anonymous tips can be made by calling the Arson Control number at 1-800-44-ARSON.
Interim Orion Township Fire Chief John Pender said the fire department received the call of a fire on Conklin Road and dispatched firefighters about 3:30 a.m.
“The barn was fully engulfed when we got there,” Pender said. “A couple of cars, campers were damaged and a shed was affected.”
The fire was a full alarm, with firefighters from Orion’s four fire stations responding to the call. The Oxford Fire Department also provided mutual aid and tanker support.
Pender said firefighters had the blaze under control in half-an-hour, and no one was injured in the incident.
The investigation is ongoing and the sheriff’s office did not want to release details of the cause of the fire.
Silverbell Road fire
At approximately 9:45pm, Friday, the fire department was dispatched to the report of a residential structure fire in the 100 Block of Silverbell Road, according to an Orion Township Fire Department news release.
Fire crews saw a small, single-story home with moderate smoke and fire on the east side of the structure and immediately began deploying hose lines to the fire and entered the home to search for potential occupants.
No one was home and the fire was brought under control in under 10 minutes.
Damage was limited to the east side of the home and garage area. The fire department remained on scene for a short time to ventilate light smoke from the home and turned the scene over to Oakland County Sheriff Fire Investigation Unit.
It is not known how the fire started.
“You could see the flames from within the Hi Hill subdivision; another few minutes and this fire could’ve been a lot worse,” Pender said. “Our crews went right to work and did a great job keeping this fire contained to a small area.”