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Former Alpena councilman among 2 brothers dead at fire

News Photo by Crystal Nelson Investigators today continue to review the scene of a Thursday barn fire on Long Lake Road where police found the bodies of two people in the debris. Police later confirmed the bodies were brothers Jim and Mike Polluch.

ALPENA TOWNSHIP — Two brothers, one of them a former Alpena Municipal Council member, were found dead Thursday at the scene of a fire that leveled a barn on Long Lake Road.

Police and the brothers’ mother on Friday confirmed the bodies found Thursday were Jim and Mike Polluch, the latter of whom is a former Alpena councilman. Police continued to investigate Friday and did not release details about the cause of death or the cause of the fire.

“All I know is they’re still sifting stuff and working to see what caused the fire, I guess, and all I know is I’ve lost my two sons,” the mother, Viriginia “Jeanne” Polluch, told The News Friday afternoon.

James Anthony Polluch was 60 and lived in Stanwood, near Big Rapids. Michael Phillip Polluch was 58 and lived in Alpena, the Michigan State Police said.

The bodies were sent to Grand Rapids for autopsies and a K-9 unit was brought to the scene of the fire to see if accelerants — substances used to aid in the spread of fire — were used, according to a press release from the State Police.

Alpena Township online property records say Virginia Polluch owns the property where the barn burned and collapsed.

The Alpena Township Fire Department was dispatched around 1:15 p.m. Thursday and arrived to find the barn fully engulfed in flames. Township Fire Chief Dave Robbins said firefighters were initially told no people or animals were in the barn, but later learned that might not be the case.

Mike Polluch recently served on the city’s zoning board, with a term expiring in October 2019.

Mike Polluch was appointed to Municipal Council in November 2012 to fill a vacant seat but was defeated in a February 2013 election. He had served on the council prior to 2012, but had to step down because of a conflict it caused with his employment at the time.

Property records indicate Mike Polluch owns the Lee’s Miniature Golf property on State Avenue.

Virginia Polluch said she recently lost another son, Steve, in January to cancer.

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