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Tag Archive | "Solon Fire"

Firefighter discovers fire at local business


Firefighters work to put out a fire at RMS Refrigeration last Friday, August 3. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

The last thing Lt. Jason Clauser of the Algoma Fire Department expected to see when he crested the hill on White Creek Avenue between Russell Road and 14 Mile about 6:30 p.m. last Friday, August 3, was smoke and flames from a business there.

“It was kind of a unique situation,” he explained. “I was driving by and saw some black smoke and then saw flames from the east side of the building,” he said, referring to a storage facility used by RMS Refrigeration, an HVAC contractor at 11800 White Creek Avenue.

Clauser called it in, and was in charge at the scene when other units arrived. There were seven fire departments at the scene. Assisting Algoma was Cedar Springs Fire, Rockford Fire, Solon Fire, Grattan Fire, Courtland Fire, and Sparta Fire. Rockford Ambulance was also on scene if needed.

Clauser said the fire started on the east side and got up into the roof and rafters. “When it got into the ceiling it got into the insulation so we had to pull the ceiling down because the tiniest spark could cause it to rekindle,” he explained. They also had to tear off some of the siding from the outside.

The cause of the fire was undetermined.

After first arriving, Clauser said they cut open the door and were able to back out a work truck from the facility. “The owner was super grateful for that because it enabled his business to keep functioning,” he said.

Clauser said they cleared the scene by about 10 p.m.

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Historic barn burns


 The barn was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

The smoke from this barn fire could be seen for miles. Photo by J. Reed.

The barn was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

The barn was a total loss. Photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

A beautiful old barn burned to the ground Saturday evening, April 22, in Solon Township, and the smoke could be seen rising in the sky from as far away as Grand Rapids.

Solon Fire Chief Jeff Drake said that they were dispatched to the fire at 14631 Hanna, south of 18 Mile, at 6:12 p.m. He said the homeowner, William DeBack, was home at the time and discovered the fire.

Drake said that the property used to be a real working farm, and the barn, which was constructed  of timber and stone, was possibly built in the late 1800s and used to have a milking parlor inside. The homeowner was using the barn for storing classic cars, motorcycles, tractors and as a workshop. Five of the vehicles were destroyed, and two were damaged. The barn was insured.

Drake said they had some exposure concerns with the siding on the house starting to melt, but they got that out before the house caught fire.

Other fire departments assisting Solon at the scene were Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Kent City, and Algoma. They were on the scene for five hours.

The cause of the fire has not been determined.

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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 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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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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