According to Sand Lake Police Chief Ken Williams, Sand Lake Police Officer Steve Brandow and Sand Lake Police Intern Zac Gregory were on foot patrol at approximately 3:00 a.m. Sunday, March 14, when they noticed a fire in the back window of a vacant building at 20 W. Lake Street. They observed a man leaving the scene, and Officer Brandow apprehended the suspect while Intern Gregory successfully extinguished the fire.
They arrested Gerald Lee Krug, 48, on a charge of Arson–Preparation to Burn Property over $20,000.
The building at 20 W. Lake Street is reportedly a historic building and is structurally connected to six other locally owned businesses in the downtown district. “The fire had the potential to lay waste to half of Sand Lake’s downtown business district,” said Chief Williams. “However, the keen observations and proactive patrols conducted by our officers undoubtedly prevented the heartbreaking loss of a cherished part of our community.”
Village President Kirk Thielke also had good things to say about the officers that prevented the fire. “As far as I’m concerned those officers are heroes” said Thielke. “It’s scary to think that if the village were disincorporated, as has been petioned, local police services such as regular foot patrols would no longer exist.”
Officer Steve Brandow is a three-year veteran of the Sand Lake Police Department. Intern Zac Gregory is currently attending the police academy at Grand Rapids Community College; he is scheduled to graduate in October, 2010.
The building was the former home of Creekside Computers, and before that Sand Lake Veterinary Hospital. It may also have been a bank or savings and loan at one time.