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Tag Archive | "fire"

Fire in garage spreads to home


This fire spread from the garage to the home within minutes. Post photo by J. Reed.

This fire spread from the garage to the home within minutes. Post photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters were on the scene for four hours Monday at this fire on 17 Mile Rd in Tyrone Township.

Firefighters were on the scene for four hours Monday at this fire on 17 Mile Rd in Tyrone Township.

By Judy Reed

The Kent City/Tyrone Township Fire Department was called to the scene of a garage fire at 720 17 Mile Road, just east of Paine, at 9:42 a.m. Monday, April 25. It was just to the east of the Kent County Sheriff Department’s north substation.

“We arrived on scene at 9:59 a.m., and the fire was already impeding into the roof area of the house,” said Kent City Fire Chief Mike Rexford. He explained that unfortunately, there were no firebreaks between the roof and attic of the garage, and the roof and attic of the home.

Fire departments assisting Kent City at the scene were Sparta, Solon, and Algoma. “They all came with water and manpower,” said Rexford. “During the day we are just not blessed with as many personnel.”

They cleared the scene at 2:10 p.m.

The homeowner George Counts, and his wife, were home at the time and got out safely. No one was injured.

Rexford said that the cause of the blaze was accidental. The owner had discarded ashes out of his pellet stove, into the trash in the garage. He thought that they were no longer hot.

Rexford said firefighters were able to get some things out of the home, and that the retired couple returned the next day and salvaged a few other things. “It will probably be a total loss,” he said of the home. It was insured.

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Road commission vehicle catches fire


A fire in the median of US131 Tuesday was quickly put out by Algoma Fire Department. Post photo by L. Allen.

A fire in the median of US131 Tuesday was quickly put out by Algoma Fire Department. Post photo by L. Allen.

a Kent County Road Commission bobcat caught fire in the median of US131.

a Kent County Road Commission bobcat caught fire in the median of US131.

By Judy Reed

The Algoma Township Fire Department responded to a fire in the median of US131 Tuesday afternoon, south of 17 Mile.

According to Algoma firefighter Chris Kutzli, when they arrived on scene they found a Kent County Road Commission bobcat, fully engulfed in flames. The fire was coming from both the operator’s cab and the engine compartment.

“We hooked up one hose line to the engine and put out the fire in about 10 minutes,” said Kutzli.

He said that the operator was clearing excess brush from the median in preparation for the upcoming road construction project when the warning light came on, saying that the engine was overheating. When he opened the engine compartment, he saw the fire.

The actual cause of the fire is unknown.

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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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Fire destroys family’s home


Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

Firefighters work to put out the fire and any hot spots. Post photo by L. Allen.

By Judy Reed

A Nelson Township family lost their home earlier this week after a fire broke out when no one was home.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

This home in Nelson Township was deemed a total loss after Monday’s fire. Photo byTami Cain.

According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the call came in at 10:49 a.m. Monday, December 5, that flames were through the roof at 9023 21 Mile Road.

Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, and Spencer Township Fire Departments all responded to the scene.

Holtzlander said that when firefighters arrived on scene, part of the roof was already caved in on the cinder block home.

He said that the fire most likely started in the attic above the kitchen/living room area, though it wasn’t determined how it started. “Their insurance company is investigating the cause,” explained Holtzlander.

He said that the home was a total loss.

Sand Lake Fire was called back to the house about 5 p.m. that day after the fire rekindled. “It was a problem with the insulation and how the roof line was built,” he explained.

Post photo by L. Allen.

Post photo by L. Allen.

No one was injured during the fire.

A gofundme page has been set up to help the Roebuck family (Billie, Laurie, and Isaac), who lived in the home, to meet immediate needs while their insurance is being sorted out and they figure out if anything is salvagable. You can visit the page at https://www.gofundme.com/fire-relief-fund-for-roebuck-family.

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Lightning blamed for fire at Lake Side Camp Park


This photo shows an electrical panel that was struck by lightning at Lake Side Camp Park on July 11, just prior to a fire there. Photos courtesy of Solon Fire Department.

This photo shows an electrical panel that was struck by lightning at Lake Side Camp Park on July 11, just prior to a fire there. Photos courtesy of Solon Fire Department.

By Judy Reed

A structure fire at Lake Side Camp Park that destroyed a pole barn, burned an RV, damaged a utility truck and melted siding on a home was started by lightning, according to fire investigators.

The fire occurred on July 11 shortly after 1 p.m. at the campground on White Creek Avenue, south of 17 Mile, in Solon Township. Cedar Springs Fire, Algoma Fire, and Kent City Fire provided mutual aid to Solon Fire at the scene.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, Solon Fire worked with the Lake Side Camp Park property insurance carrier licensed investigator Timothy Raha, of Nederveld, and Algoma Fire Chief Troy Guerra to search for a cause and origin of the fire.

“This work involved interviewing the owners, workers, and some guests of the facility,” explained Drake. “The work also involved digging through the burned remains of the building and contents, and investigating the utility connections.”

Drake said that during this process, evidence of a lightning strike was found in an electrical panel near the barn. “The Solon Fire Department will list the cause of this fire as ‘heat-generated from a lightning strike’, which is also the official cause listed by the insurance provider’s investigation,” he stated.

Drake had told the Post two weeks ago that they knew that an electrical storm had moved through the area just prior to the fire, but they weren’t ruling anything out.

The barn, which belonged to park owner Rich Lupico, was used as a maintenance shop.

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Fire sends nine to hospital


A firefighter breaks a window at the scene of a fire at the corner of 14 Mile and Podunk, in Oakfield Township, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Photo by J. Reed.

A firefighter breaks a window at the scene of a fire at the corner of 14 Mile and Podunk, in Oakfield Township, on Tuesday, July 19, 2016. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Firefighters at the scene of a fire on 14 Mile and Podunk on July 19, 2016. Photo by J. Reed.

Firefighters at the scene of a fire on 14 Mile and Podunk on July 19, 2016. Photo by J. Reed.

A fire that broke out in an Oakfield Township home Tuesday morning sent nine people to the hospital, including six children.

Fire departments were dispatched at 10:34 a.m. July 19, to a house on the northwest corner of 14 Mile and Podunk. According to Carl Rood, a witness at the scene, he was in the basement when he heard people hollering. But he said he had his music on, and it wasn’t unusual for the kids to be hollering. A few minutes later, his dad, Don Rood, was yelling at him through his window that the house was on fire. When he got outside, he saw several of the children on the roof.

“I had to get a ladder to help them down,” said Rood, who also said that one of them jumped out the window. He said that some passersby also stopped to help.

According to Oakfield Deputy Fire Chief Trachet, when they arrived on scene some of the children were on the roof above the porch on the west side of the house. “The bedroom window opened above it. We were setting up to push water out while they were getting the kids down,” he said.

Trachet explained that the nine people were sent to the hospital to be checked out because they were covered in soot, which carries carcinogens. “We just wanted them to get checked out,” he said.

Trachet also said that one of the passersby went above and beyond the call of duty when she helped out the family. “One young lady, Jennifer Brunges, was key in getting people out. She carried one of the homeowners out, kept the children safe, washed their faces, and even gave the ambulance two car seats from her own car. She then followed them down to the hospital. That young lady was a hero, and I don’t use that word too often,” remarked Trachet. “She saw smoke, saw people trying to get down, and went to help. Someone who is willing to follow the ambulance down to the hospital to make sure they are all ok is somebody special.”

Besides Oakfield, Courtland, Spencer, Montcalm, Cannon, Algoma, and Grattan Township Fire Departments were all on scene to fight the fire. The Kent County Sheriff Department was also on scene to assist.

Trachet explained that there were so many fire departments on scene because during the day volunteer firefighters are working day jobs. “It’s tough. Each department came with two or three firefighters,” he remarked.

The firefighters had the fire extinguished within about 80 to 85 minutes, but stayed on scene for several hours to make sure there were no hot spots. They cleared the scene at 3:53 p.m.

Trachet said the damage to the home was extensive.

While they have some preliminary ideas on how and where the fire started, Trachet noted that it’s still under investigation. A state investigator from the Michigan State Police Fire Marshal’s office will be investigating the fire this week.

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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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Families lose home in fire


This mobile home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates was destroyed by fire on Friday, March 25.

This mobile home in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates was destroyed by fire on Friday, March 25.

A mobile home fire broke out on Linda Street in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates shortly after 10:30 a.m., on Friday, March 25. Post photo by J. Reed.

A mobile home fire broke out on Linda Street in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates shortly after 10:30 a.m., on Friday, March 25. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Two families lost their home last Friday, March 25, when a fire broke out shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Linda Street in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the Cedar Springs Fire Department was on scene within seven minutes of getting the call, and it took 20 to 30 minutes to knock it down.

He said the fire started in a bedroom, though the cause is undetermined.

Two adults and two children were home at the time of the fire, and everyone got out safely. A 21-month-old reportedly had some minor burns to the chest and index finger, and was treated at the scene.

The home is reported to be a total loss.

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Empty house catches fire, later torn down


N-Fire-building1-157-N-Main

The house at 157 N. Main, just north of Cedar Creek (on the west side of the street) was the site of fire on January 13. Post photo by J. Reed.

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

The house at 157 N. Main was torn down on January 19, as scheduled. Photo by M. Fraser

By Judy Reed

A house that was scheduled to be demolished was the site of a structure fire on Wednesday, January 13.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in about 8:28 p.m. on a structure fire at 157 N. Main, which is just north of Cedar Creek. When they arrived, flames were seen on the second story. Fraser said they cut in around the chimney on the south side to go in and stop the fire, which burned through the wall and floor.

The building, which was purchased by the Community Building Development Team in October, was scheduled to be torn down, and all utilities had been turned off.

 A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

A reward is being offered for information related to the fire at 157 N. Main. Post photo by J. Reed.

“We can rule out natural gas or electric as being a cause,” remarked Fraser.

Both Fraser and CBDT president Kurt Mabie said that there was evidence that people had been in the building over the last couple of weeks. “We secured it but they still got back in,” said Mabie.

A K9 searched the premises but found no traces of accelerant, and the Fire Marshal deemed the fire suspicious but undetermined. If you have any information about the recent fire, they are now offering up to a $5,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of anyone on arson-related charges. You can call the Kent County Sheriff Department at 616-632-6015 or Arson Control at 1-800-44-ARSON (27766).

The house was torn down on Tuesday, January 19. Mabie said they weren’t originally looking to purchase the house, but when it was offered, he thought it would be a good deal for the people of the community. The property is just north of Cedar Creek, and runs back to the White Pine Trail, to other property the team purchased on Pine Street. Mabie said they have no immediate plans for the property, but it will enhance the beauty and park-like atmosphere they are creating along Cedar Creek, which will eventually have a boardwalk and bridge, along with a new library just south of the Creek, an ampitheatre west of the library, and a Community building on the old Johnson Lumber property across the White Pine Trail.

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Couple escapes mobile home fire


This home was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

This home was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

Photo by J. Reed.

Photo by J. Reed.

By J. Reed

A Cedar Springs family made it to safety early Tuesday when their mobile home caught fire on the coldest night of the year.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 2:11 a.m., on January 5, for a home at 365 Sarah Street, in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. Fraser said that the homeowner got up during the night and saw smoke, and was able to get his wife and dog out.

Fraser said that the fire started in the hot water heater/furnace room area, but they do not yet know the cause. He said the fire was mostly contained to the room of origin, but some flames, smoke, and heat escaped to other areas. He said that due to the age of the home, it was probably a total loss. “There was some structural damage,” he explained. He added that the home was insured.

The fire did not reach a cargo van parked in the driveway, nor a shed that was next to the home.

The home did have two operating smoke detectors, which Fraser said were going off when they arrived on scene. “Unfortunately some flames that spread across the ceiling melted them,” he said.

The Sand Lake Fire Department assisted Cedar Springs at the scene.

Fraser said that it took about 20 minutes to get the fire knocked down, and a total of 2-1/2 hours before they cleared the scene. “The cold temperatures factored into the cleanup,” said Fraser, who explained that hoses stuck to the ground, and one was impossible to fold. “The cold also takes its toll on the firefighters,” he said. Temperatures dipped to about 10 degrees overnight.

Fraser said that the couple has family in the park that they are now staying with.

The fire is still under investigation.

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