Big Rapids house fire brings in multiple departments to fight blaze

INTENSE SMOKE: Firefighters set up a hose to help fight the fire Wednesday at a home on Locust Street. Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Fire Division, Big Rapids Township Fire Department, Mecosta-Austin Fire Department and Colfax Township Fire Department were called to battle the blaze. (Pioneer photos/Emily Grove-Davis)

INTENSE SMOKE: Firefighters set up a hose to help fight the fire Wednesday at a home on Locust Street. Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Fire Division, Big Rapids Township Fire Department, Mecosta-Austin Fire Department and Colfax Township Fire Department were called to battle the blaze. (Pioneer photos/Emily Grove-Davis)

BIG RAPIDS  — Smoke billowed out the top of a Big Rapids house for hours as firefighters from various departments fought the fire within.

Around 2:20 p.m., Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Fire Division and Big Rapids Township Fire Department were first called to the scene on the 300 block of Locust Street.

A fire near a kitchen was reported, trapping one tenant in an apartment of the four-unit home, according to a page sent out via radio by Meceola Central Dispatch.

“There was one occupant home at the time,” confirmed DPS Deputy Director Steve Schroeder. “Firefighters from the city of Big Rapids and the Big Rapids Township Fire Department had to perform a ladder rescue from a second floor window.”

The woman was uninjured and no one was harmed as a result of the fire, Schroeder said.

Police, fire and EMS arrived at the home, shutting down the section of Locust Street between South Stewart Avenue and South Warren Avenue.

As the fire continued to blaze and with the smoke showing no signs of letting up, Colfax Township Fire Department and Mecosta-Austin Fire Department were called to assist. Mecosta County EMS also was on scene, along with Mecosta County Sheriff’s Posse directing traffic.

After about two hours, the fire was under control. However, crews remained on the scene for many hours into the evening to make sure the fire was fully extinguished, Schroeder said.

The home sustained heavy structural damage to the second floor, as well as smoke and water damage throughout, Schroeder said. Despite this, there are many salvageable items throughout the building, he added. 

The American Red Cross was called in to help and provide resources to the tenants who were displaced by the fire. The cause of the fire and where it originated still is being investigated, according to Schroeder. 

While it was a long, challenging day, Schroeder is proud of the work performed by firefighters and emergency personnel.

“All the departments did great,” Schroeder said. “It was a difficult structure and the weather was cold, so that made things hard, but everyone pulled together and did a nice job.”

 

DIRECTION: Big Rapids firefighter Sean Wethington listens while Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Steve Schroeder gives instructions at the scene Wednesday.

DIRECTION: Big Rapids firefighter Sean Wethington listens while Big Rapids Department of Public Safety Deputy Director Steve Schroeder gives instructions at the scene Wednesday.

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Posted by Emily Grove

Emily is the Pioneer and Herald Review crime and court reporter, covering crime in both Mecosta and Osceola counties. She can be reached by e-mail at emily@pioneergroup.com or by phone at (231) 592-8362.

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