Wyoming Home Destroyed, Resident Believes Its Arson

Posted at 10:25 PM, Sep 01, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-02 17:26:22-04

WYOMING, Mich. — Just after 5 a.m., firefighters doused hotspots inside what used to be Lance Terpstra’s home.

The Wyoming resident lived in the back bedroom of a mobile home on the 900 block of Tarpon Avenue SW. Sunday morning, he told FOX 17 he was sound asleep when the smell of smoke woke him up.

“I turned on the light and found out the entire was engulfed in smoke. So, I opened up the bedroom door and this giant cloud of black smoke came out. I closed that and my only thought is, I gotta get out,” he recalled.

As heavy smoke filled the front of the mobile home, Terpstra said instinct took over. He put a blanket over his face to breathe through and stayed low to the ground. He grabbed what little he could before making it out.

“Got my cell phone, got my wallet, moved the fan and kicked out my window in order to get away,” he explained.

Firefighters haven’t said what caused the fire. However, Terpstra is left with one question.

“How could somebody do this?” Terpstra wondered. He believes he was targeted.

“Two nights ago, a lot of my stuff was stolen by a name that’s going to remain anonymous,” he said.

He added, “This afternoon I received a call from a restricted number saying that, uh, there’s a knife with my name on it.”

“So I made another police report today and got a PPO, and I wake up to this. Everything that I own is in there.”

FOX 17 tried to get a hold of that police report, but we weren’t able to by news time. We will follow up. Terpstra said his roommates weren’t home at the time. The cause of the fire is under investigation.