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Investigators: Gaines Twp. house fire sparked by embers from bonfire

Posted: 7:51 PM, May 17, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-17 20:50:39-04

GAINES TOWNSHIP, Mich.  — The Dutton Fire Department says a fire in a trash can quickly spread to the siding of a house Friday afternoon and then went up to the attic.

That was around 3 p.m., and it wasn’t until around 6:20 p.m. Friday that crews began to clear the scene in the 6700 block of Summerbreeze Drive SE. That road runs north off 68th Street, east of Kalamazoo Avenue in Gaines Township.

Kent County Dispatch Authority says Dutton firefighters were the first ones dispatched, but later, crews from Cutlerville and Kentwood Fire departments responded, as well.

A Dutton Fire lieutenant told FOX 17 around 7:20 p.m. Friday that the fire was caused by still-hot embers from a bonfire that had begun “a few days ago”. He said the residents thought it would be safe to throw the ashes away, but that started the fire. The lieutenant says the homeowner was not aware that there were active (hot) embers in the ashes.

The lieutenant reminds everyone to always saturate ashes/embers with water before throwing them away.

No injuries were reported.