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Fire update


N-Fire-Cedar-Springs-Ave-web

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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Chimney fire damages home


This home on Algoma was damaged in an early morning fire on Monday, March 2. Post photo by J. Reed.

This home on Algoma was damaged in an early morning fire on Monday, March 2. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

Five fire departments were called to the scene of a fire in Solon Township early Monday morning.

According to Solon Fire Lt. Chris Paige, the call came in at 6:17 a.m., Monday, March 2. The homeowner at 16770 Algoma, north of 20 Mile, woke up to the smell of wood smoke. Paige said the chimney caught fire and spread to the attic.

The family of six got out safely.

Firefighters from Solon, Sand Lake, Algoma, Kent City, and Cedar Springs all fought the fire. Paige said they had it under control in about an hour and a half, and cleared the scene after 5 hours.

Paige noted there was pretty heavy fire damage to the attic space, with heat, smoke and water damage to the main floor. He said they estimate damage to the structure at $150,000 and contents at $50,000.

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Resident helps put out fire


 

The quick thinking of a Nelson Township resident probably helped save his home from burning down, according to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser.

Cedar Springs and Sand Lake Fire Departments were dispatched to a structure fire at 6590 19 Mile, at 2:03 a.m., Friday, February 20. When the first firefighter arrived on scene, Fraser said flames were seen coming through the roof of the attached garage.

Fraser said that the man who lives there, Thomas Gilchrist, was on the roof of the home, throwing snow on the roof of the garage. “With what he did, combined with the firewall, it probably saved his house from burning,” said Fraser.

The Chief said it took firefighters about 25-30 minutes to put out the fire. There is a wood stove in the garage, and Fraser said the fire started in the attic, around the chimney. “It just goes to show that a proper firewall and resistant materials really help in a fire,” he said.

Fraser said the garage wasn’t a loss; it probably just needs a new roof.

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Family escapes house fire


This  home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

This home in Solon Township was damaged in a fire early Monday morning. Post photo by J. Reed.

 

Home is former schoolhouse

By Judy Reed

A faulty chimney is believed to have caused a house fire in Solon Township earlier this week.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were called to the home at 811 21 Mile Road, on the NE corner of 21 Mile and Albrecht, at 5:55 a.m. Monday morning, February 9. He said that the homeowner, Daniel Vazquez, woke up and went to feed some wood into a newly installed wood burner, in the back of the house, and noticed smoke. He and his wife, two children and dog got out safely. When he went outside, there was smoke and flames coming from around the chimney and roofline.

N-Fire1-21-Mile-and-Albrecht-webDrake said that when the first engine arrived on scene, flames were coming through the roof and back of the house. Sand Lake, Algoma, and Kent City assisted at the scene, and Cedar Springs was on stand by in case Solon had any other calls.

The fire reignited on Tuesday morning, but Drake said that’s not uncommon in homes with cellulose insulation, and it was quickly put out.

A fire investigator ruled the cause as a faulty chimney.

Drake said that the home was not currently habitable, but could be repaired. He estimated damage at about $100,000 to the house, and $20,000 to the contents.

Clothing and other types of donations (such as gift cards) for the family can be dropped off at Cedar View Elementary.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The Hoag School before it was converted to a family home.

The home, which has been renovated, was once a rural schoolhouse called Hoag School. Not much is known about it, but according to info from The Cedar Springs Historical Society, Lena Reichelt Caldwell wrote a piece about Hoag School for a new book they are putting together. She said the school was named after Lyman Hoag Sr. His son, Lyman Hoag Jr., later married Mittie Ross, who was hired by Hoag, Sr. to teach at the school in about 1890.

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Solon home catches fire


Above shows smoke rolling out the upstairs slider door during the fire, as firefighters work to extinquish the flames in the basement. Post photo by B. Sanderson

Above shows smoke rolling out the upstairs slider door during the fire, as firefighters work to extinquish the flames in the basement. Post photo by B. Sanderson

An exhaust fan in a basement bathroom could be responsible for the fire at a Solon home last Saturday, April 26.

According to Belinda Sanderson, who lives at 4499 16 Mile Road, she smelled something funny but couldn’t figure out what it was. Eventually she saw smoke coming out of a pipe in a furnace room, which ran alongside where the exhaust fan was, about 11 p.m.

The family and pets got out safely.

Both Solon and Cedar Springs responded to the scene.

The bathroom ceiling is where the fire is believed to have started.

The bathroom ceiling is where the fire is believed to have started.

Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake said the fire was confined to the bathroom area, and they believe it started from an electrical short in the bathroom vent fan. They did rip down the ceiling in the basement to get at the fire, and used a thermal imaging camera to see if there were hotspots in the walls.

Drake said they estimate the damages at $10,000 to structure and $10,000 to contents. The family is currently staying with relatives.

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Family homeless after fire


Photo by J. Reed

Photo by J. Reed

Photo by Marty Fraser

Photo by Marty Fraser

A fire that started in a garage destroyed a two-story home in Nelson Township last weekend that had recently been remodeled.

According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Marty Fraser, the call came in at 12:38 a.m. Saturday, February 1, at a home at 7788 19 Mile Road, between Myers Lake Avenue and Pine Lake Rd. “The family woke up when they heard a noise in the garage and couple of explosions,” explained Fraser. “They were probably the tires on the minivan and a small car.” Both cars were destroyed in the fire.

Fraser said the first unit arrived at the home of Karl and Kathy Hanes to find the structure well involved and the occupants outside. Home at the time was the mother and four teenagers.

Assisting at the scene was the Sand Lake, Spencer, Courtland and Oakfield Fire Departments. “It took approximately two hours to knock the bulk of the fire down, and about 1-1/2 to 2 hours to knock down hot spots. We were on the scene a total of six hours,” explained Fraser.

The home was a total loss. Fraser said that the interior of the home was compromised so they had to attack the fire strictly from the outside. The cause was undetermined.

The family does have insurance, and the Red Cross put them up temporarily in one of their Red Cross houses. Anyone who would like to help the Hanes family, should contact the Red Cross.

 

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Family loses meat, supplies in fire


Three departments were called to the scene of this outbuilding that burned directly behind a home in Courtland township Thursday. Post photo by J. Reed.

Three departments were called to the scene of this outbuilding that burned directly behind a home in Courtland township Thursday. Post photo by J. Reed.

*N-Fire2 Courtland Wood

 

Wind was a factor in a fire that burned an outbuilding to the ground in Courtland Township last Thursday.

According to Courtland Fire Chief Mickey Davis, the call came in around 4:30 p.m. Thursday, January 23, reporting a fire at 5240 Russell Road. A building behind the residence was on fire. Cedar Springs and Algoma Fire Departments were also called to the scene.

Homeowner John Wood said that he and his wife Carla heard a pop but he didn’t know what it was. He said he looked outside, but didn’t see anything. He then started to make a cup of tea, and noticed cars driving by very slowly, and wondered what they were looking at. When he looked out back again, he saw the smoke and called 911.

Chief Davis said the building was already on the ground by the time they got there. “We had the fire knocked down in about 20 minutes,” said Davis. They cleared the scene by about 6 p.m.

Davis said they think the fire started from trash the family was burning nearby. “The wind was blowing in that direction,” said Davis.

The building was actually two buildings joined by an overhang. The Woods kept various supplies there, including materials for an addition to the home, a coop for ducks they raise, beehive supplies, green goods they had canned, a refrigerator, and a freezer full of duck meat. The meat was incinerated in the fire.

The Woods are not insured. He said that they had recently switched insurance companies, and that they had made all the changes to the home that the insurance required, and were accepted. Then, after a month, the insurance company sent them a cancellation notice, because they were doing the work on the addition themselves, rather than hiring a contractor.

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Family loses everything in fire


This fire in Sand Lake Saturday left a family of six homeless.

This fire in Sand Lake Saturday left a family of six homeless. Courtesy photo.

A Sand Lake family is homeless and has lost everything after a fire consumed their home last weekend.

According to Sand Lake Fire Chief Ed Holtzlander, the fire began around 7 p.m. Saturday evening, December 28, at 125 W. Oak Street in Sand Lake. Six people lived in the home.

Holtzlander said that the homeowner, Kimberly Sanborn, told him that her boyfriend, Dean MCollum and friends were in the basement when the smoke alarms upstairs went off. They went back upstairs to find both the couch and Christmas tree on fire.

Sand Lake Fire had someone on the scene within 2 minutes, and a fire engine within five minutes. But flames were already shooting out of the roof. “We didn’t have a chance,” said Holtzlander. He noted that it was an older home without firestops.

He said they got the fire knocked down within about 45 minutes, but then had to delay going into the structure for about two hours to finish putting it out because they had to wait for DTE Energy to arrive on the scene to turn off the gas. The gas line below the meter had burned off, and they had to go into defensive mode while they waited. “It wasn’t safe to go in,” he explained.

Sand Lake, Cedar Springs, Solon and Howard City Fire Departments all assisted at the scene, but Solon and Howard City were sent home because of the delay.

The home was a complete loss.

According to neighbor Dawn West, the family lost everything in the fire, including the family dog. Dawn is collecting clothing and household donations for the family at her home at 126 W. Oak Street, Sand Lake.

Clothing is needed for three boys ages 4, 6 and 9, in sizes 4, 6, and 8-10. Clothing is also need for a 17-year-old male in size 30/32 pants and men’s medium in shirts.

Financial donations are being taken at Independent Bank in Sand Lake. Cash or checks can be deposited in account number 74981309. Checks should be made out to Dawn West.

Please call Dawn with questions at (616) 821-8548.

*N-Fire2 Sand Lake Dawn West

This home at 125 W. Oak Street in Sand Lake was a complete loss. Courtesy photo.

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Fire ravages mobile home


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N-Fire2A Solon Township family is homeless for the holidays after a fire destroyed their mobile home Wednesday morning.

According to Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake, he received a call at the fire station at 9:39 a.m. from a neighbor reporting the fire at 2280 18 Mile Rd, which is west of Algoma. Drake was on scene within minutes but the mobile home was already gone.

According to Kent County Sheriff Deputy Ryan Guernsey, the neighbor said she heard what she thought was several gunshots and didn’t think much of it, but then she looked out the window and saw the mobile home in flames.

The Cedar Springs Fire Department supplied their engine and manpower at the scene to put out the fire.

A couple and two children lived in the home, along with several pets. Drake said that the family had left at 6:30 a.m. and so was not at home at the time of the fire. The cats were believed to be outside, but it is unknown whether the dog was in the home at the time.

Drake said the cause of the fire could not be determined. The family, who was renting the home, was uninsured. The home was a total loss. It is estimated the family lost $5,000 in contents. The assessed value of the home by the Township was $27,000.

Drake said the family is staying with other family members.

For those who would like to help the family financially, we’ve been told that an account has been set up for them at Choice One Bank in Cedar Springs. If you have donations of clothing or other items, contact Vonda Hendges at (616) 293-8282. The girls are 5 and 8 years old, and wear sizes 5 and 8. Also needed are women’s 6/7 in pants and medium in tops; and men’s 32-32 pants and medium shirts.

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Man arrested in girlfriend’s death


Scott Hammer, 51, the live-in boyfriend of Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, reportedly burned the woman’s farmhouse in Sheridan that they had been renovating, after he allegedly killed her in a struggle in Spencer Township, Wednesday, October 23. Post photo by L. Allen.

Scott Hammer, 51, the live-in boyfriend of Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29, reportedly burned the woman’s farmhouse in Sheridan that they had been renovating, after he allegedly killed her in a struggle in Spencer Township, Wednesday, October 23. Post photo by L. Allen.

A Sheridan Township man was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with homicide in the death of his girlfriend.

According to the Kent County Sheriff Department, they were called about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, October 23, to the scene of a possible homicide on Lincoln Lake Avenue, in Spencer Township. When they arrived, they found the body of Danielle Scholten-Linderman, 29.

Danielle and her boyfriend, Scott Hammer, 51, had been staying with family at the Lincoln Lake address while their home was being renovated. Sometime early that morning a struggle had taken place between the couple that resulted in Danielle’s death.

Hammer fled the home and went to 3360 Wise Road, in Sheridan Township, Montcalm County, where he and Danielle had been renovating Danielle’s old farmhouse. Hammer reportedly set the farmhouse on fire.

This photo shows two buildings (a barn and mobile home) adjacent to the burned out farmhouse. Hammer is suspected of trying to burn one of these buildings as well. Post photo by L. Allen.

This photo shows two buildings (a barn and mobile home) adjacent to the burned out farmhouse. Hammer is suspected of trying to burn one of these buildings as well. Post photo by L. Allen.

Montcalm County Dispatch received a call on the fire at 6:29 a.m. Sheridan Firefighters arrived to find the home engulfed in flames. While they fought the fire, Montcalm County Sheriff Deputies were alerted to the homicide investigation by the Kent County Sheriff Department. It is believed that Hammer attempted to burn a second structure on the property as well but was not successful. The Michigan State Police Fire Marshal’s office is assisting the Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office in the investigation of the arson.

Montcalm County Sheriff’s deputies apprehended Hammer in Sheridan without incident. He was arraigned in Kent County’s 63rd District Court, on October 24, on an open murder charge. He was denied bond, and in custody at the Kent County jail.A preliminary hearing is set for November 6.

Kent County Undesheriff Jon Hess said that the cause of Danielle’s death has not yet been released, pending the results of an autopsy.

 

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