By Scott Sullivan
The heat was on for the Saugatuck Township fire District, which between Friday at 10 p.m. and Monday at 1 a.m. responded to 17 calls for service: seven for emergency medical services, three for fire alarms, two car accidents, two boat incidents, two mutual aid calls and one wire down.
The most resource-demanding, said district IT Coordinator Erik Kirchert, was assisting the Ganges Fire Department with a house fire near Lakeshore Drive and 118th Avenue Sunday at 11:18 a.m.
“The homeowner reported smoke odor,” Kirchert recalled. “Upon opening the door to a bedroom he was met with heavy smoke and flames. Everybody was evacuated to safety.”
Ganges called in help from Saugatuck, South Haven, Fennville and Clyde departments. Due to the 92-degree temperatures, even near the lakeshore, crews rotated often for firefighters’ safety.
The dwelling’s interior suffered heavy smoke and fire damage. The American Red Cross assisted fire crews and homeowners with food, drinks and wet cool towels.
“This was the first day,” noted Kirchert, “for new Ganges Fire Chief Dan Diaz, taking over from Chief Ken Compton, who retired Saturday. All departments left the scene at 3 p.m.