Fire damages Spring Lake Township home

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:57 AM

The fire caused about $15,000 in damages to the home owned by Laurie Roberson, said Fire Marshal Brian Sipe of the Spring Lake Township Fire Department. The homeowner was insured.

Police evacuated the home at 18670 148th Ave. early Saturday morning when fire was discovered around a wood stove chimney stack.

Firefighters responded to the home at about 12:54 a.m. when a passer-by noticed flames shooting out of the back of a breezeway between the house and the garage, said Deputy Scott Ippel of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

The officer, first on the scene at the home on the east side of 148th just south of Hickory Street, said he found the homeowner throwing glasses of water on a small fire in the wall behind the woodstove. Ippel said he escorted the family out of the house, then moved their cars away.

“The first arriving fire units found fire coming though the roof of the breezeway and smoke filling the house,” Sipe said.

Spring Lake Township firefighters were able to quickly put out the fire with an extinguisher, said Fire Chief Rick Nuvill. They remained on the scene for almost two hours, checking for extension of fire in the walls, then mopping up the site.

Nuvill said damage was contained to the roof of the breezeway. There was also smoke damage inside the house.

Cody Wasilchenko, who also lives in the home, said Roberson woke up first and smelled smoke. He went to check on it.

"You could see just a little bit of fire around the stack where it went in," he said. Wasilchenko started to put water on the fire as his Roberson called 911.

The residents said they had installed the wood stove almost two weeks earlier and had been using it non-stop since then, Sipe said.

They did have a fire earlier in the evening around the chimney to the stove, Sipe said. They extinguished that fire with water and believed the fire was out.

The blaze extinguished by firefighters hours later was believed to have started by the chimney to the stove, he said.

Crockery Township and Ferrysburg firefighters also responded to the scene.

That is because of the automatic response agreement the departments have for structure fires, Nuvill said. Paramedics from North Ottawa Community Hospital also stood by at the scene.

All fire units cleared the scene at 2:41 a.m.

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