Rhonda Silence

Hovland garage destroyed by fire

The Hovland and Colvill Fire Departments responded to a fire in Hovland Saturday, Dec. 5.

At approximately 1:17 p.m., Cook County Sheriff Office deputies responded to 4810 East Highway 61 in Hovland to a reported structure fire. On arrival, deputies found a detached garage fully engulfed with flames.

The property owner, Michael Tomsche, told deputies that he had been moving firewood from the exterior of the garage, and transporting it down to the house using his “General” side-by-side all-terrain vehicle. Tomsche parked the side-by-side in the garage and went inside the residence for about a half-hour.

When he came outside again, he noticed a “hot smell” and found that it was coming from the machine. He said flames were starting and he attempted to push the side-by-side out of the garage, but realized it was still in park. He tried to hook the winch of the ATV to his truck and pull it out of garage but was unable to do so because it was in flames and did not want to risk his truck being damaged.

The Colvill and Hovland Fire Departments were paged and were eventually able to put the fire out, but all items in the garage and the garage itself were destroyed except for one kayak.

The sheriff’s office says no foul play is suspected. The cause of the fire is unknown.

Responding units included Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Colvill Fire Department and First Responders, Hovland Fire Department and First Responders, and North Shore Health Ambulance.