Blaze investigated

A Grand Haven Township family of six were left with nothing but the clothes they were wearing after a fire destroyed their home early Wednesday.
Krystle Wagner
May 22, 2013

Investigators were unable to determine the cause of the fire because of “substantial damage," said Lt. Shawn Schrader of the Grand Haven Township Fire/Rescue Department.

Schrader said the department was called to the fire in the 13000 block of Deep Water Point in River Haven Village at about 5:55 a.m. Firefighters from Robinson Township and the City of Grand Haven assisted the Grand Haven Township department, and had the fire under control in about a half-hour.

Schrader said he didn’t know if the homeowners had insurance.

“We were fortunate everybody made it out OK,” he added.

The American Red Cross was called to assist the Clover family.

Within hours, community support flowed in at Central High School, where Eric Clover attends school. Principal Paul Kunde said he learned of the fire before school, and at noon he filled the back seat of a car with food, clothes and money for the Clovers.

Kunde said the family needs clothing and gift cards. Items can be dropped off at Robinson Elementary School, Central High School and the district’s Education Services Building.

“They lost everything other than the clothes on their back,” Kunde said.

Bobby Dillree, who lives next to the destroyed home, said he heard loud popping, saw flashing lights and noticed sparks near the home's electrical box.

“Then, it just went up,” the 17-year-old said.

The fire started toward the back of the home near sliding glass doors before engulfing the rest of the home, Schrader said.

As firefighters battled the blaze, Dillree said neighboring electrical boxes began smoking and popping. The Grand Haven Township teen said they were told to stay out of their homes in case another fire broke out.

The fire also impacted the home’s hard-wired smoke detectors, causing them not to work. Schrader stressed the importance of having working smoke detectors with a battery backup.

WANT TO HELP?

Clothing:
• Female - XXL shirts, size 18 pants
• Male - XXL shirts, size 38/32 pants
• Male - XL shirts, size 33/32 pants, size 11 shoes
• Male - size 8 pants and shirts, size 3 shoes
• Female - size 7 pants and shirts
• Male - 24 months old

Drop-off locations:
• Robinson Elementary School, 11801 120th Ave., Robinson Township
• Central High School, 106 S. Sixth St., Grand Haven
• Education Service Center, 1415 S. Beechtree St., Grand Haven

Comments

SignalMaintainer

Gotta love river haven. Some of their new homes have networked smoke detectors that are not even wired (my old 'house' was one of these where the smoke detectors did not even work, and maintenance never fixed it the entire time I lived there). The electrical connection from the meter to the house was also questionable at best (a cable laying in the grass that nearly got chopped up by the mower).

tluvst

You can also drop things off at Hope Reformed Church, 14932 Mercury Drive

Bradman49417

This is another said story that people try to live their lives and something like this happens. I would like to say THANK YOU! to all that are helping these folks. It is great to see people in the community pull together and help.
I am proud to live at River Haven and have been over 20 years. These people that have a remark that has nothing to do with this article should grow up and move on.

galwithscense

I am a long tome resident of River Haven Village also and would like to say that I feel for the residents that lost their home to this fire. This is the third fire here in the last few weeks. Luckily the family escaped without a death or serious injury. I would just like to add that since Sun Communities purchased this property many things have changed, and not for the better. One issue is the “give away, FREE, fixer upper” homes that Sun gives away with “as is” with no inspections that would never happen in a house in the city or township. Many of the give away homes are 30-40 years old mostly metal homes and probably should be scrapped. The management also allows this type of home to be moved into the community from other parks that are happy to get them moved out only to profit from the $400+ a month lot rent. Pre Sun Community this type of home was not allowed to be moved in. My concern is when is there going to be a fatality due to the condition of one of the “FREE” homes. Also, there is work being done by unlicensed, uninsured repairmen for some residents that needs to be stopped. I hope the local authorities will get involved with the River Haven management before something more serious happens in our community.

SignalMaintainer

When I lived there, my home was built in 2007 so fairly new, yet it still had many building code violations that maintenance refused to fix, and it was stated in the lease that I could not do the repairs myself.

Like I said earlier, the smoke alarms did not work at all (except for the two times they all went off at around three in the morning scaring the crap out of me) due to faulty wiring. There was cable running from the meter outside, across the ground, to the trailer for the electrical hookup. Couldn't mow over I'd due to fear of it getting caught in the blade. The gas stove top was also ALWAYS extremely hot due to the pilot light under the sheet metal top. I didn't realize this when I moved in and woke up to a smoldering wood sauce spoon holder. The microwave also randomly made crackling noises.

There was no GFCI plugs next to the sinks in either the bathrooms or kitchen, and I have been jolted a couple times when unplugging something in the humid bathroom (the vent fan also just buzzed and didn't work; another think the office/maintenance would not fix).

It is true that much of their outsourced repair work is performed by unlicensed 'backyard' repairmen. When my washer broke, the guy left uncapped live wires dangling out of the front of the control panel while waiting for the part (which melted from a short) to come in.

SignalMaintainer

And the lot rent is ridiculous. They mocked mine up from $372/mo to nearly $650/mo just for lot rent. The house was another $392/mo.

They have a few of these revolving rental homes in here that they rent for a reasonable price, then a couple months in, they jack up the lot rent without any notice at all. Tenants then find out when they get hit with fees for unpaid rent. Many cannot afford the sudden increase in cost, and then River Haven evicts them (using illegal methods), sues them for back rent and lawn care costs (which they try to charge over a thousand for alone), all while renting the place out to another unsuspecting tenant.

The house across from mine was rented three times in less than a year. They serve papers by having a process server tape them to the door without attempting to contact the tenant, and then Renee comes around in her red Grand Prix and removes them (I have witnessed her do this twice at the house across the street. Literally 30 minutes after the process server was there, Renee removed the court documents from the door) so the tenant never even has a clue they are being sued until it is too late.

catrinaw1962

You know a lot of the people that r in this park all feel the same way about how much we pay for lot rent.other park's get cable and water payed for and they pay less than we do here.I also know that there needs to be more security in the park.it's pretty bad when u can't leave your home overnight without getting thing's stolen from us.how many method lab's have you found in this park.one thing I know is I do not be leave that Renee would do anything like what was said about her.all these petty people that started the organization.I know that Chris quit because of one of them and he was kicked out of the organization. this man is the one that wanted the organization to start with.we need a new park manager that know's really how to run a park like this.like I said before we need more security around here.who know's what's going to happen next.

LessThanAmused

Method lab's? Good lord.....after reading the above rambling diatribe and trying to make sense of it I wouldn't be surprised to find one of those "method labs" in your kitchen. I really wonder how people like you find their way back home at the end of the day.

Alcohol and keyboards don't mix.

Dmclover73

My name is Michelle Clover and it was my family whose house was destroyed. I just wanted to take the opportunity to thank our neighbors, family and community at large for all of your support, donations and well wishes. We cannot begin to tell you what a blessing you all have been and cannot express how grateful we are for all you have done.

Vikkinmi

Michelle, I am so sorry for what has happened to you and your family. I can only imagine how you feel - a great relief that you and your family made it out safe but a great sadness over the personal belongings that can't be replaced. I'm so happy that the community is pulling together for you. I will be praying for you and your family.

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