Fire out at Christian Haven Home

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety Officer Eric Rasch said he was already at the Christian Haven Home, 704 Pennoyer Ave., when an alarm there sounded at about 6:15 p.m.

“I walked over and saw smoke coming from the room,” Rasch said. “The sprinkler head tripped and water gushed out.”

Firefighters also used an extinguisher to help put out the fire, said Sgt. Christopher Wright. The fire was out within minutes of the alarm going off.

The fire was contained to a nightstand in a first-floor room on the west side of the facility.

“It appeared to be electrical in nature,” Wright said, emphasizing that it was not the building’s electrical system, but “a specific appliance.”

Wright said the cause is still under investigation.

When firefighters arrived at the home, the staff had everybody accounted for in a couple of different areas of the building, Wright said.

Christian Haven Administrator Leann Dixon said all of the residents were at supper in the dining hall when the alarm sounded. The residents were taken to the home's sunroom and another location close to exit doors in case an evacuation was necessary.

“All of our emergency procedures went like clockwork,” Dixon said.

The fire was out by 6:27 p.m. Firefighters remained in the two-story building for a while to check for a possible extension of the fire.

Wright said that the only sprinkler head that activated was in the room that had the fire. Water damage was contained primarily to that room, although some water seeped into the hallway and possibly into adjoining rooms, he said.

There was smoke throughout the west wing, but it was ventilated out of the building by firefighters.

Dixon said all of the residents were back in their rooms by 8 p.m., except for the woman whose room had the fire. She was put in another room, “the only one we have empty right now,” Dixon said.

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