Police apologize for wrong information, report elderly hospice patient is still alive after house fire

Posted at 2:56 PM, Mar 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-04 22:09:52-05

GEORGETOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- An elderly man  is hospitalized following a house fire in Georgetown Township, according to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office issued an apology late Wednesday evening for initially confirming to media that 79-year-old Richard Hallwachs died from his injuries after being pulled from the home and rushed to the hospital.

Shortly after 9:30 p.m., the Ottawa County Sheriff's Office apologized and said Hallwachs was still alive and in the hospital.

His condition was unavailable.

According to the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department, the fire started at about 1:42 p.m. in the 8000 block of Teakwood Drive.

The house is considered a total loss.   Officials at the scene say a nurse was caring for Hallwachs inside the home at the time of the fire.

The nurse made it out safely, and fire crews were able to get the man out as well.   Officials say the fire was quick-moving and likely started in the back of the home.

Firefighters tell FOX 17 that in December 2011, the elderly man lost his wife and son in a fire at the same home.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.