web analytics

Categorized | Featured, News

Fires ravage buildings in Cedar Springs

Fires ravage buildings in Cedar Springs

Two fires in less than 12 hours left several families homeless in Cedar Springs.

By Judy Reed

This house at Fifth and Muskegon broke out at 4:00 p.m. Sunday.

This house at Fifth and Muskegon broke out at 4:00 p.m. Sunday. Post Photo by J. Reed

The first fire occurred about 4 p.m. Sunday, February 7 at 193 W. Muskegon, on the northeast corner of Fifth and Muskegon Streets. According to Cedar Springs Fire Chief Jerry Gross, they were dispatched at 4:01 p.m., and were on scene at 4:03 p.m. When they got there, plumes of smoke were rolling out from the roof and windows of the single family brick home.

“The fire was extremely hot upon our arrival,” said Gross. “It was a little difficult to extinguish at first due to the double-layered roof line.”

Firefighters from Sand Lake helped Cedar Springs fight the fire, and they all cleared the scene by 6:36 p.m.

The homeowners, Jason and Tracy Randall, who are expecting their first child, were not home at the time. According to Jason’s aunt, Ilene Shell, the couple has lived there about three years. “They’ve been trying to fix it up,” she said.

The fire reportedly started in the baby’s bedroom upstairs, which they were decorating. A cause, however, has not been determined.

The couple had two cats, and while one of them was found, the other is still missing.

This house at the corner of Maple and First caught fire about 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. The office for this newspaper is just to the right of the fence.

This house at the corner of Maple and First caught fire about 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. The office for this newspaper is just to the right of the fence. Post photo by J. Reed

The second fire occurred about 2:54 a.m. Monday, February 8, at 40 E. Maple, on the southwest corner of First and Maple Streets. According to tenant Eric Navarre, his mom woke him to the news. “She said she saw flames,” said Navarre. Meanwhile, his stepfather, Lonny Pierce, ran to the other apartments to warm them.

Leeandra Verduin, 20, and Duane Peterson, 24, who lived in the back upstairs apartment, discovered the fire about the same time. “He heard me cough and woke up,” explained Verduin. She said that when Peterson put his hand down on the floor to brace himself to get up, he realized the floor was hot and the house was full of smoke. “He told me he thought the house was on fire, so I grabbed my puppy and my dog and got out,” she said. Her neighbor was coming up the steps at about the same time to warn her.

The home holds four apartments, but everyone got out safely.

Firefighters were dispatched to the scene at 2:54 a.m., with the report that heavy smoke was coming from the garage. They were in service at 2:55 a.m., and on scene by 3:04 a.m. Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Solon Township, Courtland, Algoma and Spencer Township fire departments fought the blaze for several hours.

“It was an extended period of time to extinguish the fire due to the construction and additions to the building,” explained Cedar Springs Fire Chief Jerry Gross.

They eventually brought in a backhoe to push away some of the building so they could get to the fire. The cause of the fire was undetermined, and Gross said they might not be able to tell because of having to bring in that backhoe.

Firefighters cleared the scene at 7:47 a.m., only to get toned out again five minutes later on a rekindle. They finally cleared the scene at 9:30 a.m.

Red Cross was on the scene and helped some of the tenants with their needs.

Verduin said that while many tenants were able to save at least some belongings, they only escaped with what was on their backs. She said that Peterson went back in to get the keys to their truck that was parked in the driveway, his wallet and some pants. “It’s a sad thing. We lost everything. We were only able to save ourselves. The only thing I didn’t lose was the most important—my fiancée and my two dogs,” she said.

This post was written by:

- who has written 17369 posts on Cedar Springs Post Newspaper.


Contact the author

Comments are closed.

advert
Cedar Car Co
Dewys Manufacturing
Advertising Rates Brochure
Watson Rockford
Ray Winnie
Kent County Credit Union

Archives

Get Your Copy of The Cedar Springs Post for just $40 a year!