House fire on north shore

Tribune Staff • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:34 AM

No one was home at 20039 North Shore Drive, near Berwyck Street, at the time of the fire.

The call came in at about 1:45 p.m. Firefighters from Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, Spring Lake and Grand Haven Township responded to the fire.

A neighbor called the home's owners, Fred and Linda Strevy, who were at North Ottawa Community Hospital at the time. When Fred Strevy arrived home, he found the house was filled with smoke and called 911.

The fire was reported to be "knocked down" at 2:50 p.m. There were no apparent injuries.

There were more than 50 people at the south pier watching the fire from across the river at around 2 p.m. They saw heavy black smoke and flames shooting from the top floor of the two-story home. 

James Balow, 18, of Grand Rapids, was camping at Grand Haven State Park when he noticed the incident.

“We saw sparks in the distance and the smoke cloud, and ran over real quick,” he said. “There was a bunch of people over here watching.”

Balow was with friend — Tyler Dilly, 18, of Grand Rapids — who also saw the scene unfold from across the river.

“We thought it was a transformer box because it was sparking so much,” Dilly said. "Once we got over here, we realized it was a condo or something.”

Both Balow and Dilly said they heard fire trucks coming to the scene and saw the thick smoke crossing the river, which is how they knew the incident was more than just a transformer box.

The U.S. Coast Guard and Ottawa County Sheriff's Department marine patrol were in the river on stand by.

We'll have more details and video from the scene later today.

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