Motorhome catches fire in garage at GH-area business

·2 min read

Apr. 2—Four area fire departments responded to a fire at Commercial Contractors Inc., 16745 Comstock St., shortly after 9 a.m. Friday.

The business is located on the northeast corner of Comstock and 168th Avenue in Grand Haven Township.

Smoke from the fire could be seen from miles away.

The owner of the business, Ken Sharkey, said that his 45-foot motorhome had caught on fire. He had just put the vehicle in the business' garage the day before.

Sandy Sharkey said that she and her husband, along with about seven other employees, were working in the front office area when the smoke alarm went off. There was nobody working in any other part of the building, including the garage, at the time.

The building has an immediate connection to the alarm company, which calls 911.

Sandy Sharkey said there was no smell of smoke in the office.

"One of the employees went and opened the back door and it was full of smoke," she said. The employee was on the phone with 911 at the time. That's when everyone safely evacuated the building.

The Sharkeys stood outside with their employees and spectators and watched smoke roll out of the garage area for almost four hours.

Firefighters soaked down the building, while a crew from Dick's Towing attempted to pull the large, burning vehicle out of the garage.

Fire officials said the fire was out before 1 p.m.

Ken Sharkey said that he believes the fire was contained to the garage area. There is a shop between the garage and the offices.

The motorhome suffered extensive damage, Grand Haven Public Safety Director Jeff Hawke said in a statement later Friday, and the building sustained damage on its east wall near the roof. The cause of the fire is under investigation, Hawke said.

A Grand Haven public safety officer was transported to North Ottawa Community Hospital's emergency room by NOCH paramedics after collapsing at the fire scene. The officer was treated and was expected to be released Friday evening, Hawke said.

Assisting the Grand Haven Department of Public Safety at the scene were Grand Haven Township Fire Rescue, Spring Lake Fire Rescue and the Ferrysburg Fire Department. Also on the scene were Ottawa County Sheriff's Office deputies, North Ottawa Community Hospital paramedics and Norton Shores Canteen.

You may contact Becky Vargo at

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