Fire damages mobile home, owner's son disappears

Becky Vargo • Apr 22, 2019 at 7:25 PM

SPRING LAKE TWP. — Police and firefighters are investigating the cause of a mobile home fire that occurred late Monday afternoon in the Country Estates Mobile Home Community.

There were initial reports of a possible meth lab fire; however, the preliminary fire investigation indicated that there was no evidence of one, Spring Lake Fire Chief Brian Sipe said.

“There’s a whole bunch of things it could be,” Sipe said at the scene.

The Spring Lake, Crockery and Ferrysburg fire departments responded to a report of a fire in the single-wide mobile home, located at the intersection of Kelowna Street and Spring Hill Drive, at 4:23 p.m. The first responders to the scene reported heavy smoke and a fully involved fire.

Because of the report of a possible meth lab, Sipe said firefighters had to approach the scene with caution, both for their own safety and to try to preserve any possible evidence.

However, the firefighters were able to fight the blaze from inside the home and contain it to a bedroom at the front of the house. There was smoke damage throughout, Sipe said. 

The fire was put out within 20 minutes, Sipe said.

The homeowner, Margaret Kramer, said she was home at the time, but went out to the porch when it looked like her son fell down the steps. She said she asked him if he wanted her to take him to the hospital, and he said, “Come on, let’s go.”

Kramer said she went back into the house to get her purse and car keys, and smelled smoke. She opened the door to her son’s bedroom, saw that the bed was on fire and called 911. 

Kramer said she did not see her son after that.

As of press time, he had not been located.

Neighbors Ken and Linda Lee had just arrived home when they heard yelling and saw smoke, Linda said. Her husband grabbed a fire extinguisher and ran across the road to the Kramer home, where flames were coming out a side bedroom window. Ken said he tried to use the extinguisher, but the fire was too hot. 

Once the fire was out, members of the Northwest Ottawa County Hazardous Materials (HazMat) team went inside the home to check the air quality before sending in fire investigators. Sipe said a decontamination area was also established and any firefighter in or near the house was hosed down at the scene.

Police were searching the area for Kramer’s son after Kramer gave a description of what he was wearing.

Officials have also not yet made a determination of the cause of a fire that destroyed a mobile home on March 1, across 148th Avenue in the sister mobile home community of Forest Lake Estates, Sipe said.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available. 

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