07/22/09 — Firefighters cannot find cause for house fire

View Archive

Firefighters cannot find cause for house fire

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on July 22, 2009 1:46 PM

PRINCETON -- Authorities say the cause of a fire that completely destroyed a Luby Smith Road home on Sunday is undetermined.

Kevin Berube, 27, a former Princeton resident who now lives in Palm Springs, Fla., told police he had returned to make basic repairs to 863 Luby Smith Road.

Just after 7 a.m. on Sunday, Berube said a neighbor woke him up while he slept on his back deck, telling Berube the house was on fire.

Berube told Wayne County Sheriff's Office investigators that he had been working by candlelight and fell asleep on the deck around 3 a.m.

The former Princeton resident told investigators he was not sure if he had left any candles burning after falling asleep outside.

A detective close to the case said Berube had slept outside because the house was not air-conditioned and the windows inside were difficult to open.

Detective Sgt. Rick Farfour and State Bureau of Investigation agents were called in to investigate the circumstances of the fire.

Investigators said after talking with Berube and investigating the scene, they could not determine an exact cause of the fire.

Firefighters spent at least 12 hours on the scene, as "hot spots" continually erupted in what remained of the structure.

Volunteer departments from Rosewood, Little River and Oakland had been called to fight the blaze, Sheriff's Office Capt. Tom Effler said.