“We just wanted the simple life,” said the husband, who didn’t want to reveal his name.
The couple had moved to the home in the 9000 block of 160th Avenue, between Fillmore and Pierce streets, from Muskegon to get closer to their jobs, the man said. On Monday, he had planned to meet at home for lunch and his wife got there first.
“I came home and opened up the garage and saw dust,” she said. “That’s what I thought.”
The homeowner quickly realized the dust was really smoke, then called 911 and her husband.
The husband said they tried to open the door and call their animals, but they had to retreat.
Grand Haven Township Fire Chief Tom Gerencer confirmed that the two dogs and two cats died in the fire.
The couple’s two children were at school at the time.
Firefighters from Grand Haven, Robinson and Port Sheldon townships, and the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety responded to the house fire at about 12:20 p.m. The first firefighter on the scene found the garage fully involved in fire, officials said.
The cause of the fire was not immediately known.
Gerencer said the home is a total loss. He estimated damage at $270,000 to the structure and more than $100,000 worth of contents.