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Tag Archive | "mobile home fire"

Deputy receives life saving award


Captain David Kok, Road patrol commander with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office (left) presents Deputy Todd Frank with a Life Saving award for his rescue of an 11-year-old from a fire. Photo courtesy of Deputy Ryan Morin.

by Judy Reed

Kent County Sheriff Deputy Todd Frank received a Life Saving award last week for his rescue of an 11-year-old from a mobile home fire last summer.

Frank was sitting in his cruiser filling out a report in the North Park lot on July 22, 2017, when a woman came running up to his cruiser yelling that there was a fire in a trailer in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates (which abuts the parking lot he was in) and that people were still inside. Frank ran towards the area and could see smoke coming from the area. He alerted dispatch to send the fire department.

Frank said it was chaotic when he arrived on the scene at 336 Carol St.

“I started herding people together as swiftly as I could. It was a family of five, including a newborn,” explained Frank. A woman was trying to go back in the back door and there was heavy smoke rolling out. I grabbed her and told her she couldn’t go back in. She said her 11-year-old son was in there.”

The medal Deputy Frank received with his Life Saving award. Post photo by J. Reed.

The boy had reportedly been outside but gone back in to get a pet.

Frank went to the front door to try to get in, but a sofa was blocking his way. “The fire had started in the air conditioner, which caught the curtains on fire, then spread to the sofa, and they had tried to throw the sofa out the front door but it got stuck,” he explained.

Frank then found a window and smashed it and began yelling for the boy. He saw the boy run past then disappear in the smoke. “He was scared. I was afraid he was going to get smoke inhalation,” remarked Frank.

When the boy ran by again, Deputy Frank reached inside and grabbed him and pulled him outside.

“I did what any deputy would do under those circumstances,” he said. “Any of us would do the same thing.”

Frank was pleased that the story had a happy ending. The whole family, including the pets, got out safely. But that hasn’t always been the case at the fires that Frank has gone to.

Frank has been with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years. But before he went to the Sheriff’s Office, he spent a few years with the Cedar Springs Police Department. His first week on the job, in the early 1990s, he went to the scene of a fire in the same mobile home park. He tried to save a baby that was inside. “She was already gone,” he said sadly. He wasn’t injured but was treated for smoke inhalation.

During his last week with the Cedar Springs Police Department, there was another fire in Cedar Springs Mobile Estates. This time two people died in the fire.

“For a long time I would hear a fire tone and just feel sick to my stomach,” he said.

During his tenure with the KCSO, Frank has been a school resource officer in Kent City, done community policing, served on road patrol in the Cascade area, and a myriad of other duties.

But serving here in Cedar Springs is like coming home.

“It’s been great for me. I already know a lot of people; the generations might be new, but the families are the same,” he remarked. He likes that it’s more rural. And since he lives in the area, he is serving his own community.

This is not first time Frank has been recognized for an action. He and another officer tackled a suicidal subject who was going to jump off the overpass on M57 that runs over US131. He received a commendation for that, too.

According to the Life Saver award for the fire rescue, “It was the quick and decisive actions by Deputy Todd Frank that ultimately saved the young boy’s life.”

But Frank doesn’t take all the credit for the fire rescue. “The fire department did a great job of putting the fire down,” he said. “I was just in the right place at the right time.”

Congratulations, Deputy Frank! Thank you for all that you and your fellow deputies do to keep our community safe.

 

 

 

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Man sentenced in mobile home fire


Brent Koelsch

A man charged with setting fire to a Cedar Springs mobile home in 2010 was sentenced last week to three months in jail, three years probation and $25,000 in restitution.

Brent Koelsch, 41, of Cannon Township, pled guilty in 17th Circuit Court to “preparation to burn personal property over $1,000,” which is a five-year felony. He was originally charged with one count of arson of a dwelling and one count of home invasion.

According to Cedar Springs Police Chief Roger Parent, the fire broke out about midnight June 26, 2010, at 368 Allan Street. Witnesses said a man arrived at the mobile home just before midnight, reportedly yelling and kicking in the door. Soon after, the man exited the mobile home and fled. Witnesses saw flames shortly after and called the fire department.

No one was home at the time of the fire.

The 14 X 70 1992 Patriot mobile home was a total loss. State Police Fire Investigator Gregory J. Stormzand assisted Cedar Springs PD with the fire investigation, and confirmed it was arson.

Upon investigation, police found that the owner, a 38-year-old Cedar Springs man, had a brief encounter with a person earlier in the night, who he felt had broken into his home and started the fire. After reviewing evidence, the prosecutor issued a two-count warrant for Koelsch, but authorities were told he left the state. Koelsch was finally picked up on August 30, 2011, in Ottawa County, on a traffic stop.

 

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