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Tag Archive | "fire"

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

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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


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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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Fire destroys family home


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This home caught fire Saturday morning. Photo from woodtv.com

 

Lightning struck an Oakfield Township home Saturday morning, July 18, sparking a blaze that destroyed the home.

The fire occurred shortly before 12 p.m. on Crawford Lake Trail, in the area of Wabasis and 15 Mile.

The homeowners, Craig and Lori Reppert were not there at the time, but reportedly received a call from a neighbor letting them know. A kitten died in the fire.

The family is currently staying in a hotel. A Gofundme page has been set up for them. If you’d like to help, you can visit it at: http://www.gofundme.com/reppertvanderslik.

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Car bursts into flames after crash


 

A Howard City man was injured Monday, after his vehicle crashed into a tree and later caught fire.

Shortly after 5:30 p.m., Montcalm County’s Central Dispatch received several reports of a possible single vehicle crash near the 8400 block of Garbow Road, in Reynolds Township. Upon arrival, the responding Deputy found a Tan Toyota Corolla that had hit a large tree. The vehicle was also on fire.

The driver of the vehicle, 46-year-old Scott Huff of Howard City, was found lying in the grass, near the burning vehicle, and appeared to be unconscious. The Deputy and a bystander were able to drag Huff to a safe location, as the vehicle became more engulfed in flames. The Deputy was later told that two other bystanders had removed Huff from the vehicle prior to it catching on fire.

The initial police investigation found that Huff was traveling northbound on Garbow Road, prior to veering off the roadway and striking two mailboxes. After striking the mailboxes, he veered back onto the roadway, traveled a short distance and collided with the tree, which caused his vehicle to catch fire. The vehicle airbags deployed, as a result of the collision.

Huff was later transported to Spectrum Hospital in Grand Rapids for treatment of injuries sustained from the crash. He was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the incident. Alcohol is believed to be a factor and the accident remains under investigation.

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Howard City Fire Department and Montcalm County Emergency Services.

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Prescribed burns Tuesday


Two burns will be in Fairplain Township. One is 160 acres and the other 41 acres. They will burn timber and grass for the Karner blue butterfly habitat, and grass for upland bird habitat.

The third burn is in Eureka Township (62 acres), also for Karner blue butterfly habitat enhancement.

The Karner blue butterfly is a federally listed endangered species in Michigan.

Other prescribed burns in the state are occurring in Arenac County (red pine management), Monroe County (upland bird habitat and native grasses), Oakland County (to stimulate oak regeneration), and Otsego (grass and shrubs for elk, deer and turkey.

Prescribed burns are planned to achieve specific objectives—often simulating the benefits of natural fires. The burns are conducted by highly trained DNR personnel in designated state-managed areas during appropriate weather conditions and in cooperation with the proper authorities and local units of government. Public safety is a top priority during all prescribed burns. Prescribed burns are used to:

Enhance wildlife habitat.
Help with forest regeneration.
Restore and maintain native plant life.
Control invasive plant species.
Reduce the risk of wildfires.
Although prescribed burns are planned, they can be canceled at the last minute due to careful monitoring of weather and wind conditions.

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Fire update


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By Judy Reed

Firefighters responded to a fire last Wednesday evening. March 11, about 7:43 p.m. at 14625 Cedar Springs Avenue, Solon Township. The structure fire was a pole barn at the home of Brent Davenport, just north of the Red Flannel Tree farm.

According to Solon Fire’s Lt. Chris Paige, fire departments on scene included Solon, Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma.

Paige said they got the fire out relatively quickly, considering they had to work around things in the barn such as a vehicle, tools, tires, etc. They cleared the scene at 10:45 p.m.

Their fire investigator and the insurance investigator both looked at the barn but did not yet determine a cause. It’s still under investigation.

Paige said the homeowner estimated damages at $20,000 to the building and $40,000 to the contents. The home was not damaged, though a few vehicles outside were damaged, said Paige.

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