fire

The Grand Rapids Fire Department is hoping to launch an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program, but they will need the City Commission’s approval first. The Grand Rapids Fire Department first approached the City Commission in January about the possibility of purchasing an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, better known as a drone to assist in 1st response efforts.

Authorities say a 46-year-old man accidentally set himself on fire while trying to exterminate bees in an underground hive in southwestern Michigan. The Cass County sheriff's department says a neighbor was able to put out the fire by the time authorities arrived Wednesday at the injured man's home in the Dowagiac area, about 160 miles (257 kilometers) west of Detroit. 

The man was airlifted to a hospital in Kalamazoo for treatment. Details about his condition weren't immediately released.

The accident is under investigation.

A fire chief who died after he was struck by a vehicle in southwestern Michigan last month is being honored by his fellow chiefs. The Michigan Association of Fire Chiefs named Comstock Township Chief Edward Switalski the Fire Chief of the Year for the state. They say he was being considered for the award before his death. The honor was announced at the association's meeting in Petoskey.

A Michigan man who tried to use fireworks to remove a bees' nest from his garage ended up burning the building down instead. Crews responding to the home in Grand Blanc Township on Monday saw fireworks shooting into the sky from the burning garage. No one was injured.

Grand Blanc Fire Chief Bob Burdette says the homeowner was trying to use a smoke bomb to get a bees' nest out of the garage. Homeowner Mike Tingley says that while he's sad about his garage, he's happy the incident wasn't worse. Tingley says "everyone is safe and that's the main thing."

Officials say a fire at a mulch manufacturing facility in southwestern Michigan has been contained and could take a week to burn itself out. The fire started Monday afternoon in Mottville Township, near the Indiana state line, and about two dozen fire departments from Michigan and Indiana responded. Authorities say flames engulfed more than a dozen acres and continued to burn on Tuesday morning. 

Authorities say a fire chief has died after he was struck by a passing vehicle while responding to a reported crash along Interstate 94 in southwestern Michigan. The Kalamazoo County sheriff's department says its officers and the Comstock Township fire department responded Wednesday night and found an unoccupied vehicle along the eastbound lanes. 

Authorities say a 9-year-old girl and three firefighters who rescued her were among those injured during an early-morning house fire in southern Michigan Crews responded about 1 a.m. Friday to reports that two adults and four children were trapped in a Jackson home.

Fire department Captain Todd Weaver says the adults, who also were injured, and three of the children were outside the house when firefighters arrived. Weaver says firefighters rushed into the home and rescued the girl, who was trapped on the second floor.

Authorities say three people were taken to a hospital with burns following an explosion and fire at a motel in northern Michigan. The Wexford County sheriff's department says the fire was reported about 4 a.m. Wednesday at the Green Mill Motel in Manton. Crews responded to extinguish the flames. 

The Cadillac News reports roughly half of the motel was destroyed by the fire. The sheriff's department says Wednesday morning that additional information is expected to be released later in the day.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Thirteen horses are dead after a suspicious fire near Grand Rapids. The fire was reported early Saturday at the Barn for Equine Learning in Kent County's Lowell Township. Only two of 15 horses survived. The owners say the horses were used as therapy for children and young adults with a variety of special needs.

Kathryn Welton tells WOOD-TV it's a "total devastation." She says the horses were family. Welton is urging anyone with information to call the sheriff's office at (616) 632-6125.

Authorities say they've identified a 16-year-old boy as a suspect in a fire that destroyed a mosque in Michigan. The Pittsfield Township Department of Public Safety says in a statement that an investigation has found that the fire isn't considered a hate crime. The statement says the determination followed a "thorough review of evidence and investigative information." 

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