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Family loses home in fire

Family loses home in fire

by Judy Reed

This home at 15797 Algoma was a total loss. Post photo by J. Reed.

Smoke billowed from a Solon Township home Monday as seven area fire departments battled the blaze.

According to Solon Township Fire Chief Jeff Drake, they were dispatched to 15797 Algoma Ave, just north of 19 Mile Rd at 2:02 p.m. Monday, December 7, and arrived on scene three minutes later at 2:05 p.m. He said that the initial 911 call indicated the fire was outside of the home. When the first unit arrived on scene, they found heavy fire on the exterior wall of the double-wide mobile home with a walk-out basement.

A firefighter pulls away pieces of the home to get at the fire. Post photo by J. Reed.

“The fire was discovered outside by a family member earlier near the chicken coops,” explained Drake. “Fire spread to multiple chicken coops and eventually to the residential structure.” He said there was a delay in reporting the fire of more than 10 minutes.

With the fire spreading rapidly, the fire departments fought the fire defensively. The building and contents were a total loss, estimated at $200,000 for structure and contents.

Seven fire departments fought the fire at 15797 Algoma earlier this week. Post photo by J. Reed.

He said the fire was deemed accidental.

The three people at home at the time of the fire all escaped without injury.

Drake said the property was insured, and the insurance company is providing shelter for the family at an area hotel.  “They were referred to North Kent Connect for clothing and other assistance,” he said. Some donations were also being gathered for the family by area residents.

The fire departments assisting Solon on the call included Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Algoma, Kent City, Sparta, and Plainfield Fire Departments. Kent County Sheriff deputies also assisted at the scene.

Solon finally cleared the scene at 5:00 p.m., only to be called out on another fire at 5:36 p.m. They arrived on scene at 43 Clear Lake Avenue NE at 5:47 p.m.

Dispatch reported that the caller said it looked like someone had purposely set the fire. The fire was out but the basement was full of smoke. The first Solon unit to arrive reported that the fire was out.

Drake said that damage from the smoke was estimated at $500.00, and there was no structural damage.

Cause of the fire was “incendiary” and allegedly set by a juvenile.

Assisting agencies included Cedar Springs, Sand Lake, Algoma, Kent City, and Plainfield Fire Departments and the Kent County Sheriff’s Office.

Solon finally cleared the scene at 8:30 p.m.

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