Scammer poses as Michigan family who lost home in fire

The family lost their home same day it was purchased

Scammer poses as family who lost home in fire

A couple had recently bought a home near Anchor Bay and were still moving in when the house caught on fire.

“We were like, ‘This is going to be a great night. We’re going to have pizza, we’re going to do all this and it turned into pulling into fire trucks,” said Tammy Channell.

Channell and Ren Early were moving in their last load of items 10 days ago when the a short circuit in a kitchen light caused a fire. They had bought the home that day.

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“The title was signed over at 4 p.m., and it was burned down by 8:30 p.m.,” Early said.

The couple did not have insurance set up yet, so all of their furnishing and electronics were lost with the home in the Shores of Anchor Bay.

Friends reached out to help, and after starting an online fundraiser, Channell received assistance from strangers as well.

“It’s been so overwhelming that I could cry at the kindness of strangers and people that don’t know us,” Channell said.

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However someone went on social media pretending to be the couple asking for donations in the form of Amazon e-cards.

“It made me feel embarrassed that somebody would do that my name,” Channell said. “The fact that someone else would try to benefit from somebody else’s tragedy is the main part that bothers me because I myself don’t want to benefit from it. I want to help others, I’ve always wanted to help others.”

“Please don’t donate to this person. He’s just using somebody’s tragedy to benefit in his own way,” Early said.

About the Authors:

Jason is Local 4’s utility infielder. In addition to anchoring the morning newscast, he often reports on a variety of stories from the tragic, like the shootings at Michigan State, to the off-beat, like great gas station food.

DeJanay Booth joined WDIV as a web producer in July 2020. She previously worked as a news reporter in New Mexico before moving back to Michigan.