New Year's Eve blaze destroys Spring Lake Township home

Becky Vargo • Dec 31, 2017 at 7:39 PM

A Spring Lake man rushed his 11-year-old grandson out of his home into the cold Sunday evening as flames quickly flared out of the older house.

Firefighters responded to Joe Correia’s home at 15221 Krueger St. shortly before 6 p.m. Sunday.

Flames were already coming through the upper story when firefighters arrived, said Spring Lake Township Fire Chief Brian Sipe.

Correia said that he and his grandson were watching a movie when they decided to take a break and go to the kitchen for some Scooby Snacks. 

That’s when he noticed heavy smoke in the house, grabbed his grandson and ran outside.

“I have no idea what happened,” he said as he watched firefighters put water on the fire in 14 degree temperatures.

The fire chief said Correia noticed the house was getting warm and thought he had a problem with the thermostat.

“Then he noticed the smoke and got out of the house,” Sipe said.

Firefighters from Spring Lake, Ferrysburg and Crockery Township responded to the scene along with North Ottawa Community Hospital ambulance.

Firefighters were able to get in part of the house, but had to get back out because a floor collapsed, Sipe said.

Firefighters had the fire mostly under control, but there was still fire in the attic area as of 7 p.m.

Neighbor Jackie VanLeeuwen said she called 911, when her brother, John Melin, called her because he thought it was her house.

Flames were already coming out the building when she rushed outside, VanLeeuwen said.

The neighbor noted they would do everything they could for Correia.

“He’s a very nice man,” she said. “He’s very attentive to his special needs grandson. He takes very good care of him.”

Sipe said the home is fully insured.

He did not have a cause or where the fire started as of 7 p.m. Sunday.

Correia said he has lived in the house for 30 years.

He planned to go to his daughter’s house for at least Sunday night.

Recommended for You

    Grand Haven Tribune Videos