Car catches fire in Ferrysburg garage

A condominium garage was extensively damaged when a car caught on fire inside of the structure late Friday morning, according to Ferrysburg Fire Chief Mike Olthof. Firefighters were called to 17448 Dunewood Court, unit D, at 10:21 a.m. when resident Tricia Roelofs discovered smoke in the garage. Roelofs said she had been home for about 10 minutes when she heard a noise in the garage. "It was just like a ‘poof,' she said. "I thought it was the radiator blowing.' Roelofs said she called 911 after discovering the smoke.
Tribune Staff
May 13, 2011

Firefighters arriving on the scene minutes later saw flames coming from the car and immediately called for assistance from the Spring Lake Township Fire Department, Olthof said.

The garage was attached to the condominium, one of six units in the same building.

Olthof said they were able toextinguish the fire fairly quickly and that the fire was contained to the garage.

“We applied foam right away and that foam knocked it down right now,” he said.

Lakeside Towing pulled the car from the garage and firefighters opened all compartments to make sure the fire was out and cool it down, Olthof said.

Firefighters also used a thermal imaging camera to look for more fire and had to knock through the fire wall between the garage and a bedroom to make sure everything was extinguished, the chief said.

The trusses in the garage were burned and there was smoke damage throughout the house, Olthof said, adding that damage was estimated at more then $30,000. The 2001 Chevrolet Impala was a total loss. That vehicle was worth about $4,000, he estimated.

Roelofs said the car belonged to her boyfriend, Jeff Jewel, who also owns the condominium.

She said she was glad it didn’t happen a few moments later as she probably wouldn’t have heard it once she got in the shower.

Roelofs said she drives the car to work every day and hadn’t been experiencing any problems, Olthof said.

The cause of the fire could have been a “possible problem with the fuel line on top of the engine block,” the fire chief said. “That’s where the heaviest art of the fire was.”

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