Update: Two dead in veterans home fire

PALO, Mich. (WZZM) -- Two men are dead after a fire at an Ionia County home for veterans. Search dogs discovered the second man who was originally reported missing.

"Its a tragedy," said Tricia Parsons who owns what's left of the residence. "This has been awful. Cause these people are family."

Police say about eight veterans were believed to be in the house as well as the caregiver who made the call. No one else was injured.

Firefighters responded shortly after 2 a.m. Sunday to the the "Honor House" at 8442 Judevine Road. Six different departments were called to the scene to put out the fire. They were still clearing up hotspots well into the afternoon.

"I was told the fire was tremendous, the house was fully engulfed," said Sgt. Roger Vandermolen from the Ionia County Sheriff's Department. "It was remarkable. They had over 50 firemen here from six different departments."

Parsons used the residence provide an independent source of low-income housing to local veterans in need.

"These are people that served our country, these are wonderful people," she said. "It's just so awful. It's a complete tragedy."

This is one of two locations Parsons owns for housing people in need. The rest of the veterans were taken to her second home in Montcalm County.

A fire marshall is on scene investigating the cause of the fire.
Steve Patterson

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