Homeowner Terry Pearson said he hopes to rebuild on the spot.
“I want to stay right there,” he said as he nursed a cup of coffee at a nearby motel. “I love that location.”
On Wednesday evening, Pearson and his stepson, Josh Grant, had just left the house to get food and a movie after the family had returned from a trip. His wife, Vickie, stayed behind to take a bath.
“We travel a lot for work. We got home around 6:20 p.m.,” Pearson said. “Absolutely everything was fine in the house.”
Shortly before 7 p.m., the smoke alarms activated and Vickie got out of the tub and opened the bathroom door.
“I saw smoke everywhere,” she said. “I saw smoke pouring out of the basement.”
Terry said he and Josh were pulling out of the drive-through at Taco Bell when his wife called.
“I was in a panic,” Terry said.
Terry rushed home in time to see flames already showing through the basement windows.
“I opened the door and got hit with a wall of smoke,” he said.
They shut the door and retreated.
Firefighters arriving on the scene saw flames in the basement and battled extensive fire before declaring it out at 9:23 p.m.
Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said officers patrolled the area throughout the night, and the fire rekindled just before 1 a.m. Thursday.
“It rekindled, we came back and put it out again,” Hawke said.
Firefighters cleared the scene a second time at 5:53 a.m. Thursday. A new crew arrived at 6 a.m. “to do fire watch,” said officer Terry Turkelson.
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.