Fire in Ferrysburg home

Becky Vargo • Nov 14, 2017 at 10:38 PM

FERRYSBURG — Firefighters remained on the scene well past midnight after responding to a fire in the basement of a Suffolk Street home shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday.

The homeowner at 16285 Suffolk called in the basement fire at 10:09 p.m. Suffolk Street is in the Harbor Point subdivision off West Spring Lake Road just past the Spring Lake Yacht Club.

Mike VanderMolen, his wife, son and their two dogs safely evacuated from the house.

VanderMolen said that the fire started in a dehumidifier in a back corner of the basement. He tried to put it out with an extinguisher but was unsuccessful, so he yelled for his wife to call 911.

“It’s unbelievable how fast it goes from nothing to something,” VanderMolen said as he stood off to the side watching smoke pour out of his two-story house. “It just wouldn’t go out.”

Spring Lake and Crockery Township firefighters also responded to the call. Additional manpower was requested from Norton Shores and Fruitport. Canteen 450 and North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics were also on the scene.

Ferrysburg Fire Chief Mike Olthof said the fire caused “pretty excessive damage in the basement. There was extensive damage to the floor joists.”

He noted there was smoke damage throughout the house.

Olthof said fire was just starting to come up through the floor vents in the kitchen.

“If we hadn’t gotten the hose line on when we did, fire would have been in the main part of the house,” he said.

Olthof said the biggest problem firefighters encountered was “a lot of stuff in the basement.”

One Ferrysburg firefighter suffered from some smoke inhalation and was transported by ambulance to North Ottawa Community Hospital.

Olthof said they gave the man chest X-Rays and a breathing treatment.

“He was back at the station when we returned (shortly after 2:30 a.m.),” the chief said.

A second ambulance responded to the scene to do the transport because they require an ambulance to stay on the scene during a house fire, he said.

The fire is still under investigation, although it does look like the dehumidifier might be the cause, Olthof said.

A damage estimate was yet to be determined.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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