Residents safely evacuated from house fire

Becky Vargo • Dec 27, 2016 at 10:27 AM

BLENDON TWP. — Three people, including one handicapped person, were safely evacuated from their home after a fire Tuesday morning at a centennial farm in Blendon Township, just north of Borculo.

Firefighters responded to the home in the 7000 block of 96th Avenue after the residents reported fire in the basement at about 7:30 a.m.

Blendon Township Fire Chief Kurt Gernaat said the fire started in the basement of the home, which sits at the back of a long driveway, and burned through the kitchen floor. There was fire, smoke and water damage throughout the house.

Strong winds added to the firefighters’ difficulties.

“Once you open a window or door, the wind pushes the fire around,” Gernaat said.

Still, the bulk of the fire was extinguished rather quickly, he said.

Firefighters were still putting out hot spots as of 9 a.m.

Firefighters from Olive and Zeeland townships also responded to the fire. Ottawa County Sheriff’s deputies assisted at the scene.

Tankers loaded up water from a hydrant a short distance to the north, just south of the Tyson Chicken plant. Long hose lines from the fire trucks snaked up the long driveway.

The names of the residents were not immediately available.

Gernaat said the residents told him that there was a wood stove in the basement, but the cause of the fire was still under investigation.

The American Red Cross responded to the scene to help the residents and to provide canteen services for the firefighters.

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