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GRFD: Small couch was origin of London St. house fire

Posted: 5:28 PM, Mar 09, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-09 22:50:12-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.  — The Grand Rapids Fire Department says the house fire late Thursday afternoon at 726 London Street S.W. began in the bedroom.

GRFD Lieutenant William Smith told FOX 17 in a Saturday email that the house’s furnace was ruled out as the cause of the fire that awoke residents at the location north of Burton Street and east of Clyde Park Avenue. Everyone got outside safely, but the house was destroyed.

“The  object of origin was a small couch located next to a bed,” says Lieutenant Smith. “Upon examination of the couch, we observed both smoking materials and, an extension cord that was providing power to a light. Due to the consumption of material, I cannot identify the ignition sequence.

“Both the couch and bed greatly contributed to the fuel load for the fire in this room. Nearly all of the material was consumed by the fire. ”

Smith says there were a few paint cans in the bedroom that may’ve erupted when they were exposed to the high-heat conditions in the room. “This may explain the occupants being awakened by the sound of an ‘explosion’.”

On a side note, the Grand Rapids Fire Department says it’s a good idea to have a working smoke alarm inside your home. “Please take the opportunity to call 311 to learn more about our Free Residential Safety Program”.

As residents set their clocks ahead for the shift to Daylight Saving Time, firefighters remind people to change their batteries in their smoke alarms, as well.