Fire damages garage

(Updated 9:45 p.m. Sunday - Full story) Smoke could be seen from U.S. 31 as fire burned in a garage in a neighborhood near the highway.
Becky Vargo
Jan 19, 2014

The blaze was slowed by a fire extinguisher, but caught hold again before firefighters arrived.

Firefighters from three departments responded to the garage fire just before 2 p.m. at 317 Maple St. in Ferrysburg.

The house is located off Old Grand Haven Road (174th Avenue) west of U.S. 31.

Homeowner Cindy Baldus said she and her boyfriend were getting ready to go work with some scrap in the garage when a neighbor pounded on the door and said there was a fire.

“I ran out there, saw the fire and picked up the extinguisher,” Baldus said. “I blasted it and it went out, but started up again. Then the fire department was here.”

Fire was burning in the ceiling in the middle of the garage at that time, Baldus said.

Her neighbor, Tim Kolka of 326 Maple St., said he and his mother were looking at squirrels when he noticed the smoke.

“I said, ‘that’s not right,’” Kolka said.

So  he ran across the street and alerted Baldus.

Ferrysburg, Spring Lake and Crockery Township fire departments responded to the scene.

Officials turned back Crockery when the fire was determined under control.

Officials are looking at a woodstove in the garage as the possible cause of the fire, said Ferrysburg Assistant Fire Chief Len VanderJagt.

Baldus said they used the woodstove for several hours on Saturday, but extinguished the fire and removed the coals late that night.

VanderJagt said there could have been a problem with the chimney.

He said fire was contained to the attic of the garage and did burn through some joists. There was also water damage to some contents in the garage.

He estimated damage at about $10,000.

Baldus said she had a refrigerator, dryer, tools and some scrap metal in the garage.

Firefighters were on the scene just over an hour.

The fire is still under investigation.

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