Local business steps up to feed firefighters following fatal blaze

Posted at 6:13 PM, Mar 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-22 18:13:51-04

DRYDEN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) — Fire investigators and police on Tuesday returned to the site of a mobile home fire and reported explosion in Dryden Township. They are trying to pinpoint the cause.

Someone started a makeshift memorial in front of the debris to honor the four lives lost. It's just one example of how close-knit the community is.

"It was awful. I live next door, so I heard the firetrucks going by," Veda Barker said.

Barker, who owns Veda's Uniques and More, said she knew it was grim by the time she heard the fifth fire truck go by.

Word of the fire spread, along with what neighbors describe as the sound of an explosion on Pheasant Lane in Victoria Meadows Mobile Home Park.

Rescuers recovered the remains of four family members. Police said a woman, her two teenage children and the woman's grandmother are the victims.

On Monday, fire investigators brought in a tracking dog to sniff for accelerants.

“Something happens in our town, everyone knows. And if it’s something they can help them with, they will," Barker said.

She didn’t ask for this attention. 7 Action News contacted her after the Dryden Township Fire Department thanked Barker with a post on social media for bringing them breakfast Monday.

“Somebody called me and asked me if I could put something together because another place was closed. And I said, 'No problem at all,' which I was going to do something anyways," Barker recalled. "I put together whatever I could."

It's a donation and kind gesture for a department that includes volunteer firefighters who are now processing a traumatic discovery.

“To the family, we’re very, very sorry for their loss and we are here if they need us, even to talk, cry, we all listen,” Barker said.

The Dryden Police Department said this is an ongoing investigation.