Pearls In Our Past - Hartford MI A Pictorial History of Hartford Michigan




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The Hartford House Fire
(aka The Olds House)

Hartford Michigan

Page 1 of 2

Click here read the History of The Olds House-The Hartford House

After the fire - Easter Sunday, April 11, 2004

What's left after the fire and demolition

Story and original photos taken by Emma Thornburg Sefcik, Webmaster

4-11-04 Update - According to Firefighter, Kyle Norden, he and the Assistant Fire Chief went up after all was knocked down and found the dog, who growled at them.  Kyle grabbed the dog and brought him down to safety.  A nice end to this rumor!
The historic Hartford House structure was destroyed by fire that started about 12:00 p.m. on Friday, April 9th.  I arrived at the scene and started taking photos immediately. Firemen from several area localities assisted in battling the blaze that seemed to be contained at about 2:30 p.m. 

It is my understanding that there were 12 or 13 apartments in the building and all residents escaped uninjured.  It appears that the fire started on the 3rd floor, where 6 children resided with two families.  A family dog, however, did not survive the fire (channel 8 reports that the dog did survive).  The resident apartment manager, Edward
Pendergrass alerted and assisted residents to safety.

At this point, the origin of the fire remains under investigation.  This story will be updated with new photos and facts as the investigation continues.

12:57 p.m.

12.57 p.m.

12:58 p.m.

12:58 p.m.

12:59 p.m.

1:01 p.m.

1:02 p.m.

Roof edging was just starting to fall
1:03 p.m.

A few pieces of the roof are shown as the edging on the west side of the building fell to the ground.
1:03 p.m.

1:03 p.m.


1:07 p.m.

1:22 p.m.

1:22 p.m.

1:23 p.m.

1:23 p.m.

1:24 p.m.

The photos above also attempt to show surrounding buildings and houses for the folks who have been away from Hartford for awhile.  Click on any photo to slightly enlarge for better viewing.

Photos by Emma Thornburg Sefcik

Click here to continue

Information for this web site was gathered from personal interviews, newspaper articles, scrapbooks, personal photo albums, and other documented materials - many available to the public at the Hartford Public Library or Van Buren County Historical Museum.  Please report any typographical errors, updated information, or incorrectly stated information to the webmaster for correction.  Reprinting for personal and instructional purposes is permitted, however, unauthorized commercial reprinting of this information or unauthorized linking to photos-pictures on this site is strictly prohibited without written permission from the webmaster. 

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A Pictorial History of Hartford, Michigan
Emma Thornburg Sefcik,
Competent Secretarial Service
Copyright 2000 - All rights reserved.

Revised: May 27, 2015