Burned out Taylor home may have been marijuana grow house

Photo by Tereasa Nims Jerry Gardner (left) and sister Brandy Gardner stand saddened at the burnt house Tuesday morning. Jerry Gardner used to live in the Merrick house that burned Monday afternoon. The father and son living in the home are hospitalized at Detroit Receiving.

Photo by Tereasa Nims
Jerry Gardner (left) and sister Brandy Gardner stand saddened at the burnt house Tuesday morning. Jerry Gardner used to live in the Merrick house that burned Monday afternoon. The father and son living in the home are hospitalized at Detroit Receiving.

Father, son still hospitalized

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR – Firefighters are investigating if a marijuana grow assembly contributed to a house fire in the 9400 block of Merrick Street Monday afternoon that hospitalized a father, 59, and son, 35.

“There was a marijuana grow operation,” Fire Chief Stephen Portis said today. “We are investigating if it was legal and if it contributed to the fire.”

One dog broke free and was later found, while another dog, an African gray, died in the fire.

The father, Brandon Pavlick, and his son Eleazar, were taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital where the father was in stable Wednesday and the son was in critical condition.

About 12:30 p.m. Monday, neighbor Chris Dunn heard an explosion, ran out of his house in the 9000 block of Merrick and saw flames. Then ran back in and called 911.

“The kids and I heard the explosion, but didn’t know what it was until we seen the smoke,” said Tiffany Lynn Gohl, who lives on Polk Street, behind the house that was engulfed in flames.

Neighbor Amanda Marie O’Bryan said she was playing a game with her son, and her dogs were wrestling in a bedroom.

“I heard a loud distant boom, went looking to see if they knocked something over, couldn’t find anything thing, looked outside and seen smoke coming from that direction (of the fire),” O’Bryan said. “It shook my house, so it really scared me not knowing if I had to get my 2-year-old and dogs out of here.”

Former neighbors Jerry Gardner and sister his Brandy, were saddened when they saw the fire-ridden house Tuesday morning.

“This was my childhood,” Gardner said.

The siblings grew up in the house next door to the Pavlicks’ house. When their parents died, Jerry Gardner went to live with Brandon Pavlick and his family.

“They are good people,” he said.

Brandy Gardner said it is a close knit community, where everybody pretty much knows everybody.

“We are a family around here,” she said. “This is the neighborhood where you want to live.”

Firefighters said the fire started in the back of the house and about 300,000 gallons were used to extinguish the blaze. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)