A close community in Mid-Michigan mourns the loss of one of their own after a morning fire ripped through a home in Genesee County.
Fire crews responded to a blaze in Genesee County's Genesee Township, and a man trapped inside did not make it out.
The fire started around 6 a.m. at the home at 4442 Mollwood Dr. in Genesee Township near Genesee Road and Richfield Road. The area is very near the Kearsley Lake Municipal Golf Course.
Genesee Township is about 10 miles northeast of the city of Flint.
Rex Lewis has lived on Mollwood Drive in northern Genesee County next door to the Prevo family for years. Early Tuesday morning, Lewis heard Patricia Prevo and her daughter screaming, so he ran over to help.
"I tried to focus my attention on getting [Lawrence] Prevo out. I went to the front door, it was locked. So I kicked it in. I got probably a step in there and it was too much smoke I couldn't see, couldn't breathe, couldn't do anything," recalled Lewis.
Firefighters from three different departments worked for over three for hours to put out the stubborn blaze. Flames burned through the entire house and even torched the cars in the driveway.
Fred Prevo stood in shock, looking helpless as flames and smoke destroyed his childhood home. His father, 83-year-old Lawrence Prevo, didn't make it out alive.
"By the time I got here the place was enflamed. My mom and sister were down the street. My sister was crying. She got burnt trying to get my dad out of the house. Couldn't get him out," said Fred Prevo.
He says his mother and sister walked away with minor burns - but are emotionally devastated. Family, friends and neighbors agree Lawrence Prevo lived a long and good life, still they can't believe it's come to such a tragic end.
"It's hard. Didn't want to see my dad go like that," commented Fred Prevo.
Lewis agreed. "I'm very in shock right now. I've known this guy for years. It's sad to see him go this way."
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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