Residents escape early morning house fire

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:49 AM

Resident Scott Zerbe said he woke up and smelled smoke. He didn't think much about it at first because they have a fireplace, but when he got up to check, the smoke was so thick he couldn't see.

Zerbe said he yanked his girlfriend, Toni Davis, out of bed and they exited the house and called 911.

On the way out he noticed fire in the bathroom.

Crockery Township Fire Chief Gary Dreyer said when the first firefighters arrived, the back of the house was heavily involved in fire. He said the blaze was under control at about 2 a.m. and knocked down by 2:30 a.m.

Dreyer said the north end of the house was heavily damaged by the fire, which also got into the attic. There was smoke damage throughout the house.

The chief said he called for manpower from several departments because they are usually short of personnel during deer hunting season.

Assisting at the scene were Spring Lake Township, Ferrysburg, Grand Haven Township and Coopersville-Polkton fire departments. Norton Shores canteen and the American Red Cross also responded to the scene.

Dreyer said the cause of the fire appeared to be from the residents emptying an ashtray into a trashcan in the bathroom. He said fire officials would be on the scene later today to conduct an investigation.

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