Cause of fatal fire determined

A portable heater was the cause of a fire that killed Jason Arnold in Grand Haven Township on Saturday morning.
Alex Doty
May 3, 2012


“Fire investigators have determined that the fire was caused by a propane heater coming into contact with combustible items in the trailer," explained Lt. Mark Bennett of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department.

Arnold, 38, died in a fire that started shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday. The Manton man was sleeping in a travel trailer, located on the back of property at 15410 Buchanan St., with a propane heater on. By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, the trailer was fully engulfed in flames.

Ottawa County Sheriff's deputies responded initially to the fire, and firefighters recovered Arnold's body from inside the trailer once they put out the flames.

According to Grand Haven Township Fire Chief Tom Gerencer, the monetary value of the destroyed trailer was less than $1,000.

Bennett said investigators determined that the fire was “accidental,” and it doesn’t appear to be suspicious.

Earlier this week, Ottawa County medical examiners revealed that Arnold died due to smoke inhalation.


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