At 3:54 PM today, the Holland Fire Department was dispatched to a report of smoke coming from an apartment building at 440 Stratford Way. First arriving units found a working fire in a four unit apartment building. Holland Police units arriving on scene indicated that occupants were out however they could not confirm. Firefighters initiated an immediate attack on the fire to contain it and initiate a primary search that ultimately confirmed that there were no occupants in the structure. Extinguishment continued for close to two hours and firefighters remained on scene until 6:49 PM to assist occupants with obtaining personal belonging from their apartments and to verify extinguishment.
Today's high winds created rapid fire spread throughout the building and all four units are uninhabitable. As a result 10 of our community members have been displaced. None of them were injured as a result of the fire however one firefighter did sustain an injury while operating on the incident. Their injuries were identified as minor and the firefighter was able to return to duty. Three cats that were in one of the apartments were located, removed and are doing fine. A fourth cat in another unit has not been accounted for.
Dollar loss estimates are not yet available however the damage to the structure and contents are significant. The cause of the fire has not yet been determined and the department's Fire Marshal will be initiating an origin and cause investigation over the next few days. Although quite early in the investigation there is no evidence at this time to indicate that the fire was intentional in nature.
Assistance on scene was provided by the Holland Charter Township Fire Department. The Graafschap Fire Department provided station coverage and was on standby to respond to subsequent incidents while Holland units were committed to this incident. The Zeeland Fire Department responded with their air truck to provide additional breathing air. Other agencies assisting on scene include the Holland Police Department, the HDPS Victim Services Unit, the American Red Cross and AMR. The Ottawa County Volunteers supported the incident with canteen services. We express our thanks and appreciation for the assistance provided by the departments and agencies noted.