Christmas Day took a tragic turn for one northern Kent County family after their home was destroyed by fire Saturday evening.
Firefighters responded to the 4100 block of Ives Farm Lane, (a subdivision off White Creek just north of Russell Road) just after 7:14 p.m. When firefighters arrived, it was fully engulfed.
Several fire departments fought the blaze, including Algoma, Courtland, Solon and Cedar Springs, who was set up as a pumping station at the Cedar Springs Middle School.
According to Algoma Fire Captain Roger VanderKlipp, the family of four (2 adults and two children) got out safely, along with guests they had over at the time. He said that one of the children slept downstairs, and that they were able to get some of his clothing out. Several Christmas presents were also stacked in front of the home in the driveway.
The family was staying with neighbors overnight and the Red Cross had been called in.
According to Algoma Fire Chief Steve Johnson, the fire appears to have started from discarded ashes from a charcoal grill. The family had grilled the previous day, and the ashes had been stored in the garage, where they ignited. “Ashes can stay hot for three or four days down inside of them,” noted Johnson.
The Post reached the homeowner, Norman Galang, on Monday. He said they are currently staying with family. “Everyone is doing great, and no one was hurt,” he said. “We are in much better spirits now.” The Galangs have a 7-year-old son and 3-year-old daughter.
Anyone interested in helping the Galangs can email Norman at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific needs.