People's Choice Auto Repair business burns down

WEBBER TWP. — People's Choice Auto Repair on M-37 in Webber Township was engulfed in flame and burned down following an on-the-job accident.

The fire began when employee Tylor Liske was emptying used oil into a burn-off furnace, which was designed to heat the facility, when the oil ignited and badly burned Liske and set the business on fire. Flames soon engulfed the building. No additional employees were injured.

Lake County Sheriff deputies and emergency response units quickly rushed to the scene to control the blaze and prevent further tragedy.

"I was glad the first person on the scene was deputy Brad Nixon," said Lake County Sheriff Robert Hilts. "He got the employees to safety and the injured man to the ambulance so he could be treated. With burns like this, it's important they get help as soon as possible."

Liske was airlifted to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids. As of noon on Dec. 23, he was listed in critical condition.

Responding to the fire were the Webber Twp., Lake Township, Yates Township and Baldwin Fire departments.

"The fire crews got here quickly, knocked the fire down and got it under control," remarked Hilts.

Newly appointed chief of the Webber Twp. Fire Department, Aaron Summers, said the blaze was intense and was thankful no one else was injured. He commended the work of all the fire crews on the scene.

"I believe the response was quick," said Summers. "The building was fully engulfed by the time we got here, but there was some great teamwork and the fire was quickly brought under control."

Summers said the building will most likely have to be demolished following the fire.