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Crews battle industrial fire at Seaver Finishing

Becky Vargo • Updated May 9, 2017 at 8:20 PM

UPDATE: 10:30 a.m. Wednesday

The investigation is continuing into a fire that damaged the Seaver Manufacturing building Tuesday afternoon.

Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions at the northwest corner of the building on arrival. The fire spread to the ceiling on the north side of the building.

Firefighter’s efforts were hampered by a partial roof collapse and the interior construction of the building, Hawke said. Firefighters tried for several hours to get through the cinder block walls and gain access to the fire.

An excavator was requested at 10 p.m. to remove the  heating and cooling equipment from the roof and raze the walls on the north side of the building.

A damage estimate was not available.

Assisting at the scene were Grand Haven Township Fire Rescue, Spring Lake Fire Rescue, Ferrysburg Fire Department, Norton Shores Fire Department and Canteen, Ottawa County Hazmat Team, North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics and Robinson Township Fire.

Original story

Firefighters from several area departments battled a blaze at a Grand Haven factory for hours Tuesday afternoon.

Grand Haven city and township firefighters responded to the fire at Seaver Finishing, 1645 Marion Ave., at 2:43 p.m. Help was also requested from Ferrysburg and Spring Lake Township firefighters, as well as Norton Shores Canteen.

Owner Craig Seaver said there were about 18 people inside the building at the time and everyone got out OK. A second shift was just starting to come in, he said.

One of the evacuated employees said smoke started coming through the building, so they grabbed fire extinguishers, but quickly realized the fire was too big, so they exited the building. Black smoke was billowing out the back of the building when firefighters arrived minutes later.

The first firefighters on the scene reported fire going through the roof.

The blaze initially appeared to come from a powder collector, but Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said the fire also spread into the building’s ceiling.

Firefighters started with an exterior attack at the back of the building and eventually used the city’s aerial truck to keep the blaze under control. Another aerial from Grand Haven Township was ready, if needed, Hawke said.

Firefighters inspected the roof and worked on the fire from inside the building. They were experiencing some obstacles with cement walls, trying to get to the fire.

Seaver explained that the powder collecting room is self-contained. No personnel go into it.

Ottawa County’s Haz-Mat team was requested at the scene at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

Seaver Finishing is a powder coat facility that coats steel for the automotive and furniture industries.

The company also had a fire at their facility located at 16900 Hayes St. in July 2016.  That incident involved a semi-trailer backed up to the company’s loading dock. The trailer caught on fire.

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