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Tag Archive | "fire"

Fire destroys family home


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


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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