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      Explosion and fire wakes up Negaunee neighborhood

      A garage fire broke out in the City of Negaunee just before 4 a.m. Wednesday at 327 Cherry Street. No injuries were reported as everyone got out of the house safely.

      The fire was reported after a person driving in the area saw smoke, located the fire and called 911. That person also woke up neighbors, alerting them about the fire.

      Paul Collins, who lives next door at 331 Cherry Street, told TV6 & FOX UP what he heard on Wednesday morning.

      "I heard an explosion or pop, and it woke me out of a dead sleep, and I got up and walked through the hallway and looked through my daughter's window," said Collins. "I saw nothing but orange flames coming through the neighbor's roof, and so I ran downstairs to get to the phone and, of course, there was no power in the phone 'cause I was trying to call 911. Looked out the kitchen window, and the whole thing was up in flames. The roof, everything was just gone."

      Collins finally called 911 on a cell phone and made sure the people inside the home got out safely.

      The Negaunee City Fire Department and Bell EMS reponded to the scene. The garage was fully engulfed when crews arrived. The fire was extremely hot, causing windows in the back of the home to blow out. One firefighter said the flames were over 50 feet high.

      Firefighters put out the flames in ten minutes. Four fire trucks from the Negaunee City Fire Department were at the scene. Negaunee City Police, Ishpeming City Police and Negaunee's Electric Department also assisted. Firefighters stayed on the scene until about 5:30 a.m.

      The owner of the home is Sandra Whitford. She is getting assistance from the Pigs N' Heat Fire Relief Fund. The City of Marquette Fire Department is handling those arrangements.

      The garage was destroyed in the fire. A vehicle inside the garage was also destroyed along with the contents of the structure. A sauna at 327 Cherry Street was also destroyed. Collins' garage suffered fire damage to the outside, and siding melted off his house.

      The cause of the fire was unknown as of Wednesday morning, and no damage estimate was available.