Investigation continues into a K.I. Sawyer duplex fire Friday night that resulted in the death of a Forsyth Township volunteer firefighter. The fire occurred about 9:27 p.m. at 108 Albatross St. in Forsyth Township, south of Marquette. A mother and two children escaped, but the fire had engulfed one half of a duplex by the time crews arrived, Marquette County Sheriff Gregory Zyburt said in a news release.
Killed fighting the blaze was Ben Lauren, 23.
Lauren was a third-generation volunteer firefighter, according to the Forsyth Township Facebook post. His father and sister are also members of the department.
“(W)e ask that you keep them, the whole Lauren Family and all of our brave volunteers close in your thoughts and prayers. He was a proud, dedicated and exceptional member of your Fire Department,” the post states, “and was truly the finest representation of our community’s young people — respected and admired by all who knew him.”
State Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, called Lauren a “hero who died volunteering to protect and keep his community safe,” in a Facebook post Saturday.
“My heart breaks for each and every member of the Lauren family, the Forsyth Volunteer Fire Department and community who are grieving today,” Cambensy’s post states. “The entire Upper Peninsula delegation of legislators are grieving with you, as well as many of our legislative colleagues in Lansing who reached out to us who are first responders or public safety officers themselves, and understand how difficult of a loss this is for the Forsyth community. Our hearts are heavy, and our thoughts of him are with you during this difficult time.”
The cause of the fire and the fatal accident remain under investigation by the sheriff’s office and the Michigan State Police fire marshal.
The Forsyth Township Fire Department was assisted by the Forsyth Township Police Department, the Sands Township Fire Department, the Skandia Township Fire Department, the Michigan State Police, the Forsyth Township Ambulance, UP Health System 141, the Marquette County Sheriff and Rescue 131.
Funeral arrangements for Lauren will be handled by the Canale-Gwinn Funeral Home.