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House fire lights up the night

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:12 PM
bvargo@grandhaventribune.com 616-842-6400 ext. 231

When firefighters arrived after the 10:40 p.m. call for help, they found a two-story home at 17490 144th Ave. ablaze.

At 11 p.m. flames shot through the roof of the structure. By 11:20 p.m., firefighters had knocked the flames back and only heavy smoke could be seen.

A neighbor plowing snow two houses away said he saw the flames and yelled for his wife to call 911.

The house was under renovation and uninhabited.

Crockery Township Fire Chief Gary Dreyer said it appeared the fire started in the second story, but a cause would not be determined until they went back out on the scene Thursday for an investigation.

Dreyer said it was his understanding that the house was bank owned, and that contractors had been working in the house Wednesday.

Firefighters from Crockery, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg fire departments responded to the scene. Norton Shores Canteen was  also there.

"It's the first house I built when we got married (in 1955), said Ray Suchecki, who lives next door."Yeah, it's kind of breaking my heart a little bit."

UPDATE: The house is owned by Seth Kooienga, a real estate agent for Five Star in Grandville.

Kooienga said he bought the house six months ago and has been working on it since then. The house was recently listed for sale for $75,900.

Stay tuned to grandhaventribune.com for more on this story.

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