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Firefighter Assaulted While Battling Branch County Blaze
Wednesday Jun 11, 2014 5:11am
1272 Wattles Road • Colon, MI

By: Jim Measel

(MATTESON TOWNSHIP) - Bronson Fire Chief Brent Wilber says a department officer was physically assaulted when he arrived at a house fire in Branch County's Matteson Township on Tuesday afternoon. The person who assaulted the firefighter was arrested by the Branch County Sheriffs Department. Wilber referred further information on the incident to the Sheriffs Department but our phone calls seeking more details have not been returned. The unnamed firefighter who was attacked was treated by LifeCare Ambulance paramedics at the scene. Wilber says the blaze at 1272 Wattles Road was reported at about 12:25pm and caused about $210,000 worth of damage. Flames were shooting out of a living room picture window and there was heavy fire in front of the two story farm house owned by Jeff and Gayle VanVorst when firefighters arrived. No one was home at the time the fire broke out but three fawns and a dog were found dead inside. The house is still standing but it sustained extensive fire, heat and water damage. Firefighters were able to save some personal items. Wilber says the cause of the fire has been turned over to the Michigan State Fire Marshal's office but it does not appear to be suspicious. Besides the firefighter who was assaulted, another firefighter suffered a minor back injury. Bronson firefighters got mutual aid from the Colon Fire Department.

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