A good Samaritan assisted with evacuating 2 occupants from a roof they escaped to after becoming trapped above a fire in their home at 205 West 9th Street. This occurred at 9:54 am, as the Holland Fire Department was dispatched to a report of a fire in that residence. An open phone from the person reporting the fire inside the residence created concern that there may be trapped occupants. Additional information received while units were responding indicated that there was smoke showing and an active fire in the living room on the first floor.
At 9:58 am, the first arriving units reported a working fire in a single-family residence. As firefighters were preparing to attack the fire, it was learned that 2 occupants were assisted to safety and everyone was accounted for. At this time dog left behind inside the residence was found standing at an open window of the second floor and a firefighter quickly placed a ladder and rescued the dog.
The fire which originated in the living room was brought under control approximately 15 minutes after arrival. Firefighters remained on scene until around 12:30 pm to complete what is referred to as salvage and overhaul. This process includes protecting personal belongings of the residents as well as making sure hidden pockets of fire are located and extinguished to stop any further property loss.
The fire remains under investigation by the department’s Fire Marshal however initial findings indicate that the cause was unintentional. Fire and smoke damage severely impacted the first floor of the residence. Damage was minimized on the second floor because of a door to the stairs being closed. This closed door most likely protected the occupants on the second floor as well.
Five cats that were inside the residence at the time of the fire were rescued and removed. We are happy to report that all occupants including the 5 cats, some of which were kittens, are safe and doing well.
During this incident firefighters were assisted by the Holland Police, American Medical Response, and the department’s Victims Services Unit. Assistance in providing temporary lodging for the displaced occupants was provided by the American Red Cross.
As the fire was brought under control it was quickly identified that smoke alarms inside the residence played a role in notifying the occupants of the fire. It was also learned that a good Samaritan assisted the two second floor occupants off a portion of the roof that they had escaped through a window because smoke and fire conditions on the first floor cut off their escape. This unknown individual also attempted to extinguish the fire.
If anyone has information to assist in identifying and locating the good Samaritan that rescued the second-floor occupants from the roof, please contact the department at 616-355-1020.
For media inquiries regarding this incident, please contact Chris Tinney, Captain of Fire Operations at 616-355-1023.