Off-duty conservation officer responds to house fire in Clare County

Contact: Brandon Kieft 989-275-5151
Agency: Natural Resources

March 29, 2019

Conservation Officer Josh Wright was off-duty and on his way home from working out Tuesday at 9 a.m., when he saw black smoke from a distance. Wright drove his personal vehicle toward the smoke, arriving at a home located at 2643 E. Ludington Drive in Clare Township. Flames were coming out of the windows.

CO Wright immediately confirmed with a neighbor that nobody was in the house and 911 had been contacted. The neighbor said that the owners of the house were away on vacation.

With other homes and equipment near the fire, Wright jumped into action.

“In case the fire spread, I went to the next closest house to notify the neighbors,” Wright said. “I looked through the window and saw two small children wearing diapers, sitting in the living room. I knocked on the door and the mom answered it. She had been in the shower and didn’t know about the fire.”

The mother and her two small children safely left their home per Wright’s recommendation.

Wright was joined by a man who arrived on scene to help. There were cattle on the property of the burning house; Wright and the man walked the cattle a distance from the fire and tied them to a tree. A horse trailer also was within distance of the flames. Wright used the man’s vehicle to tow the trailer away from the fire, helping to make room for the firefighters.

When the Clare Fire Department crew arrived, Wright helped with hoses and stayed to assist with crowd and traffic control.

“Because our officers live in the communities they serve, they are always available,” said Chief Gary Hagler, Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division. “CO Wright chose to look into this situation while he was off-duty. I am proud that this is the mentality of our officers – they are always willing to help.”

No one was harmed during the fire and the animals remained safe. Clare Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire.

Michigan conservation officers are fully commissioned state peace officers who provide natural resources protection, ensure recreational safety and protect citizens by providing general law enforcement duties and lifesaving operations in the communities they serve. Learn more about conservation officers at

Firefighters putting out a house fire as an off-duty CO comes to help

Michigan DNR Conservation Officer Josh Wright was off duty and on his way home from the gym Tuesday at 9 a.m., when he saw black smoke in the distance. Wright drove toward the smoke and arrived at a burning house on Ludington Drive in Clare. Neighbors confirmed there was nobody in the burning house. Wright proceeded to evacuate a mother and her two children from a nearby house, moved cattle and a horse trailer away from the flames, and stayed to assist Clare Fire Department crew.

Photo credit: Bob Guiliani, Guys and Dolls Photography, Clare, Michigan

Conservation Officer Josh Wright

Conservation Officer Josh Wright