The Greenville Department of Public safety announced this week that a house fire that occurred at 313 E. Cass Street in Greenville on January 13 is being treated as an arson. PSO Jamie Sorsen, lead investigator in the case, determined that the fire was intentionally set on the second floor.
The Greenville Department of Public Safety responded to the house fire on E. Cass Street, at about 5:55 a.m., January 13. Officers Casey Huber and Erik Hoig, and firefighter Tom Miller rescued an occupant from the second floor of the residence assisted by Officer Cole. He was later identified as Dennis R. Vanderzand, 65. An 83-year-old woman was also assisted from the residence. Initial dispatch information available to investigators indicated Vanderzand claimed the second person in the residence started his clothes on fire in his bedroom.
Both individuals were transported to West Michigan hospitals for treatment and evaluation. Sgt. Brian Blomstrom initially investigated the scene and interviewed individuals at the scene of the fire; a search warrant was then executed on the residence in order to determine the origin and cause of the fire.
“Investigations of this detail take time and extensive training,” said Blomstrom. “Acquiring measurements, capturing photographs, conducting interviews, reconstructing the scene, and analyzing all possible fire ignition sources into account are all part of a complete investigation. Having an internal specialized team available to perform these duties is very beneficial to the department and the community.”
Both Sgt. Blomstrom and PSO Sorsen investigated the fire within the structure. The result of the entire investigation as a whole led PSO Sorsen to rule the fire was intentionally set in the upstairs bedroom of the house.
Once the entire report is completed and finalized, it will be sent to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office for review regarding arson-related charges.