Sanford native aims to rebuild after house burned down in December

On December 14, Brandy Hauri was napping when his pit bull, Lucky, pounced on him and continued to bark to wake him up in a house filled with thick black smoke.

Hauri grabbed a shirt to cover his face, walked out with his two dogs from the Lee Township house, and called 911. Then he watched the flames engulf everything he owned in 20 minutes.

Almost a month later, Hauri and his two dogs live in his garage, where fire has blown out three windows, and are powered by a generator. On unusually cold nights, the three retreat in Hauri’s truck.

Hauri, born and raised in Sanford, lived in the Lee Township home at 365 N. Nine Mile Road for four years and is now reduced to sleeping on an air mattress in his garage, using the generator to warm himself.

Hauri, 41, said the fire destroyed furniture, Christmas gifts for her two daughters and many memorabilia. He said the memories were the hardest to lose, the drawings his daughters made for him and the gifts they gave him over the years along with photos.


“It was the most difficult,” Hauri said. “There are just tons of things you can never replace. “

Around Christmas, Hauri suffered a nervous breakdown and attempted suicide, he said, following the fire, and was hospitalized.

The cause of the blaze is unknown, said Lee Township Fire Chief Daryl Amrozowicz, who noted that there was nothing suspicious about the blaze. He said that if there is no suspicion, the fire is unlikely to be investigated. He cited a wood stove or fireplace as possible causes.

Hauri had no insurance on the structure, but he did not realize it until after the fire. He bought the house and property on a land contract and the insurance was supposed to be included. But the seller had since died, leaving the insurance status unclear.

Hauri’s daughter MacKenzie Smigielski created a GoFundMe page for her father.

She said on Saturday that her father would do anything for anyone.

“It doesn’t matter who they are or how much he has,” she said. “If this was his last tin, he would give it away. “

She and her sister live in Dearborn Heights and they both came to see him the night of the fire and stayed for a few days. Smigielski said it was difficult to see his father go through this difficult time.

“He worked so hard for what he had, and now he has to start over,” she said.

Smigielski said it was heartbreaking for her to see her living conditions after the fire.

She said he worked long hours at two jobs to earn all he has. Hauri works as a mechanic and as a landscaper.

His plan is to finish paying the $ 7,000 he owes on the property and rebuild on an acre lot.

Hauri needs food, clothing and building materials. Anyone wishing to donate can drop off items at Mike’s After Hours Auto and Transmission Repair, 2001 Bay City Road in Midland. There is also a GoFundMe page for Hauri on https://bit.ly/3JT71xQ in order to raise $ 7,000.


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