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Tag Archive | "cedar springs fire"

Firefighter discovers fire at local business


Firefighters work to put out a fire at RMS Refrigeration last Friday, August 3. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The last thing Lt. Jason Clauser of the Algoma Fire Department expected to see when he crested the hill on White Creek Avenue between Russell Road and 14 Mile about 6:30 p.m. last Friday, August 3, was smoke and flames from a business there.

“It was kind of a unique situation,” he explained. “I was driving by and saw some black smoke and then saw flames from the east side of the building,” he said, referring to a storage facility used by RMS Refrigeration, an HVAC contractor at 11800 White Creek Avenue.

Clauser called it in, and was in charge at the scene when other units arrived. There were seven fire departments at the scene. Assisting Algoma was Cedar Springs Fire, Rockford Fire, Solon Fire, Grattan Fire, Courtland Fire, and Sparta Fire. Rockford Ambulance was also on scene if needed.

Clauser said the fire started on the east side and got up into the roof and rafters. “When it got into the ceiling it got into the insulation so we had to pull the ceiling down because the tiniest spark could cause it to rekindle,” he explained. They also had to tear off some of the siding from the outside.

The cause of the fire was undetermined.

After first arriving, Clauser said they cut open the door and were able to back out a work truck from the facility. “The owner was super grateful for that because it enabled his business to keep functioning,” he said.

Clauser said they cleared the scene by about 10 p.m.

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Electrical fire in Santree development


Post photo by M. Kleyn.

The Solon Township Fire Department was called to the scene of a fire at 14897 Tree Valley Drive last Thursday, April 12, at 12:30 p.m. Tree Valley Drive is in the Santree Development north off 18 Mile Rd.

According to Deputy Chief Chris Paige, the fire was contained to a bedroom. The bedding, mattress and box spring were all on fire. “It appears to be electrical, but the cause is still under investigation,” said Paige.

Everyone got out of the house safely. Cedar Springs, Algoma, and Sand Lake Fire assisted. Rockford Ambulance was on medical standby.

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Brush fire burns out of control


Wind caused this fire to burn out of control last week. Post photos by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Dry and windy conditions caused a brush fire to spread out of control behind a home in Nelson Township last week. 

Cedar Springs Fire was called to the scene behind a home on 18 Mile, just to the east of Hillcrest Community Church, on Friday, March 23. 

According to Fire Chief Marty Fraser, when the fire began to spread, the homeowner attempted to put it out but could not get it under control. Approximately two acres was burned. 

The fire department got it knocked downand then went over the hot spots.

The Michigan DNR had a burning ban out for northern Michigan, and most of the fire departments in the lower peninsula also had a burning ban on for the dry, windy conditions. Anyone in the lower peninsula who wants to burn brush needs to call their local fire department to get a burn permit prior to burning.

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Heat from A/C starts afghan on fire


Smoke and flames were coming out the door when firefighters arrived on the scene of a fire at this mobile home last Saturday, July 22. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A polyester afghan sealing off a window around an air conditioning unit caught fire last weekend in a mobile home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, they received the call at 11:07 a.m., Saturday, July 22, for 336 Carol Street. When they arrived on scene at 11:11 a.m., smoke and flames were coming out the front door. And by 11:14 a.m., they had the fire out.

“We had a good response time, and it was a quick knockdown,” reported Fraser.

He said that the fire was contained to the sofa area in the living room. The air conditioner was above it, with the polyester afghan around it to seal the window. Fraser said that the afghan was brittle and stiff, and that the heat from air conditioner started it on fire, which then started the sofa on fire.

The damage to the home was mainly smoke and water damage.

The Kent County Sheriff Department was on scene and helped evacuate the family, which consisted of a mom, dad, and three children, including a six-week-old  baby. Several animals were also evacuated safely.

The family was renting the home, and had no insurance. Red Cross was called in to help render aid.

Sand Lake Fire was automatically toned out for mutual aid, but then told to disregard, as was Rockford Ambulance.

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Year in Review: Fires destroy homes


The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Numerous homes were damaged or destroyed by fire this year in the greater Cedar Springs area. In the photo above, lightning started a fire at the Lake Side Camp Park on White Creek Avenue, south of 17 Mile, on July 11, shortly after 1 p.m. Cedar Springs Fire, Algoma Fire, and Kent City Fire provided mutual aid to Solon Fire at the scene.

Fire investigators found evidence that lightning had struck an electrical panel near the pole barn where the fire started. The fire destroyed the pole barn, burned an RV, damaged a utility truck, and melted siding on park owner Rich Lupico’s home.

This is just one example of many fires that occurred this year.

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Car drives into Pine Lake


This car missed the stop sign at 17 Mile and Pine Lake Avenue Wednesday evening and drove into Pine Lake. Post photo by L. Allen.

This car missed the stop sign at 17 Mile and Pine Lake Avenue Wednesday evening and drove into Pine Lake. Post photo by L. Allen.

Another driver took the “Pine Lake plunge” Wednesday evening, September 28.

A call came across Kent County Dispatch at about 9:20 p.m. saying that a car had driven into Pine Lake at 17 Mile, in Nelson Township. They then reported the driver was crawling out of the car.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, Clinton Felkner, 57, of Oakfield Township, was traveling eastbound on 17 Mile Road when he failed to stop at the stop sign at Pine Lave Avenue and drove his 2009 Buick LaCrosse into Pine Lake.

The driver was not injured and was able to exit the car.

Cedar Springs Fire and Rockford Ambulance also responded to the scene.

Alcohol is believed to have been a factor in the crash, which is still under investigation.

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Fire at campground does $110,000 in damage


Photo courtesy of Dan Johnson.

Photo courtesy of Dan Johnson.

By Judy Reed

N-Fire3-pole-barn-and-RV

The fire at Lakeside Camp Park started in this pole barn. Photo by J. Reed.

Several area fire departments battled a structure fire Monday, July 11 at Lakeside Camp Park on White Creek Avenue, just south of 17 Mile Road.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were dispatched to the fire at 1:11 p.m. It started in a pole barn and spread to an RV next to the barn. He said it also damaged a utility truck and melted some of the siding on the brand new house that owner Rich Lupico had just built this spring.

Cedar Springs Fire, Algoma Fire, and Kent City Fire provided mutual aid at the scene.

Drake said that a park worker discovered the fire in the pole barn where he had been working. The man’s wife had a medical event due to the fire, and needed medical attention at the scene. Some saw this and thought a firefighter had been injured, but no firefighters were injured while fighting the fire.

The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

The fire spread from the pole barn to an adjacent RV. Photo by J. Reed.

Drake said that they believe the fire started in a southern wall of the barn. But they did not yet know a cause. “We know an electrical storm moved through prior to the event. But nothing has been ruled out,” he explained.

He said they plan to dig into and investigate the fire more this week to try to determine the cause.

Drake placed damages at $110,000, which included the barn, equipment, RV, and siding on the house.

Lupico told the Post that he used the barn as his maintenance shop. “This is pretty devastating. I lost a lot of stuff in that barn,” he said.

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Driver falls asleep; hits oncoming car


The driver of this car fell asleep and hit an oncoming vehicle the evening of July 4.

The driver of this car fell asleep and hit an oncoming vehicle the evening of July 4.

Police and fire and rescue responded to the scene of a two-car head-on collision in Nelson Township shortly before midnight on Thursday, July 4.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, a young male driver traveling westbound on 17 Mile, between Shaner and Ritchie, dozed off and hit an oncoming vehicle. According to police at the scene, the occupants of the cars suffered minor injuries and would not be transported to the hospital. Cedar Springs Police and Cedar Springs Fire and Rescue assisted at the scene.

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Fire destroys downtown scrapbooking business


By Judy Reed

Another Cedar Springs business has succumbed to fire.

A fire destroyed Cinderella Slipper Scrapbooking in downtown Cedar Springs last week. Post photo by J. Reed.

A fire destroyed Cinderella Slipper Scrapbooking in downtown Cedar Springs last week. Post photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters were called to the scene of a structure fire at 25 S. Main Street in Cedar Springs, just after 11:30 p.m. Thursday evening, August 6. The building, owned by Tom Cronkright, houses three apartments on the top level, and Cinderella Slipper Scrapbooking on the first floor. According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Jerry Gross, the fire was contained primarily within the business, which was a total loss. He said the fire started on the north side of the business, about halfway back. “Reaching it was a little difficult because of the heavy smoke and heat,” he noted.

The building, however, was saved.

Sand Lake Fire Department and Algoma Fire Departments assisted at the scene, while Solon and Courtland Fire Departments were put on standby. The fire was under control by 11:20, and fire departments cleared the scene just after 2 a.m.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, and is still under investigation.

Chico, a pit bull belonging to Angel Perez (pictured) and Heather Cross, tried to let his family know something was wrong when the building they lived in caught fire last week. Photo by J. Reed.

Chico, a pit bull belonging to Angel Perez (pictured) and Heather Cross, tried to let his family know something was wrong when the building they lived in caught fire last week. Photo by J. Reed.

There was only one family at home in the apartments at the time, and they escaped without injury, in part due to the family dog. According to Heather Cross, she and her three children were sleeping when Chico, their two-year-old pit bull, began to bark. “It was a weird bark, like he was scared,” recalled Heather. “I got up and looked around but didn’t see anything, so I told him to be quiet and went back to bed.”

A little bit later her 7-year-old son got up and told his mom he smelled smoke. “There was smoke from one wall to the other,” she said.

About that same time, her boyfriend, Angel Perez, came home. Heather said she yelled, “Fire!” and the two then got the three children, Seth, 7, Julian 1, and Brianna, 2 months, to safety. Perez said he didn’t see the fire because he came up the back stairs. But he was proud of Chico for trying to tell Heather about the fire. “Pit bulls often have a bad name, but he’s a good dog,” he said. The family is currently staying with relatives in Grand Rapids. They had no renters insurance.

While their apartment had mainly smoke damage, they said they won’t be going back. “I’m traumatized, and I know the kids are traumatized,” said Heather. If anyone would like to offer assistance to the family, call the Cedar Springs Post at 696-3655.

This is the second fire in downtown Cedar Springs in less than six months. In March, three businesses and several apartments were destroyed in a structure fire at 59 S. Main that started in an upstairs apartment. That building was also owned by Tom Cronkright and later demolished.

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