April Fools’ Day prank gone wrong; GVSU apartment goes up in flames

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ALLENDALE, Mich. --An attempt at April Fools' Day humor turned into a fire that led to the evacuation of an apartment unit near Grand Valley State University.

Units from four fire departments were called to a fire at 4932 W. Campus Drive, apartment B4, near the Allendale campus of GVSU Wednesday morning.

Allison Mitchell, who lives in the apartment next door, said she was in class at the time of the fire when she got a text message from one of her roommates.

"I thought it was a joke at first," Mitchell said.

She quickly learned the fire was real, but that it was the result of a prank.

Capt. David Pelton with the Allendale Fire Department said four girls lived inside the apartment that caught fire. He said one of them tossed a firework at a roommate in an upper level bedroom, which landed in a laundry hamper, igniting the contents.

Addison Waltra, Mitchell's roommate, said she was one of the first people to run out of the building. She said she began alerting people to the fire.

"We didn't know what was going on," Waltra said. "We gave our neighbors our fire extinguisher because they didn't have one."

Capt. Pelton said the person who lit and threw the firework isn't expected to face any charges. However, the owner of Campus West apartments said the students will be held accountable for the damages. He told FOX 17 the four tenants have been moved to a model unit.

No one was hurt in the fire that took crews about an hour to knock down. Capt. Pelton said the damage is extensive but that it can be repaired.

Capt. Pelton also said, that in all his years on the job, he's never been called to a fire that was the result of an April Fools' Day prank.

Units from departments in Allendale, Blendon Township, and Georgetown Township were called to the scene.




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