Rockford Fire

Community celebration is free, fun, informative

August 2, 2012 // 0 Comments

National Night Out is next Tuesday, August 7 Join your local law enforcement, neighbors and more as the Rockford Police, Rockford Fire, Kent County Sheriff’s Department and the Michigan State Police participate in National Night Out Tuesday, August 7 in downtown Rockford from 6 to 8 p.m. According to organizer Officer Aaron Sawyer, the event is not only a fun celebration, but also informative. “Lock your car doors, close your garage at night, leave outdoor lights on,” Sawyer said of simple practices that make a huge difference in preventing crime. Other crime prevention material and giveaways will be available during the two-hour event which is a nationwide initiative. Here, it is held at Maple and Main streets in the parking lot formerly occupied by Northland Pontiac (just west of the Rockford fire garage), downtown Rockford. Rockford’s National Night Out, in its eighth year, always draws crowds of hundreds who can walk from booth to booth under a big tent, visit with our local K-9 Michigan State Police trooper and his dog, throw a ball to try and dunk a Rockford police officer in the dunk tank, and enjoy a meal of hot dogs fired up by our Rockford firefighters (free or by donation with funds going to the Rockford Firefighter Association). If weather is hot as it has been recently, the fire department’s truck on site spraying water to walk or run through will be greatly appreciated. In addition to the Michigan State Police K-9, there will be at least one Michigan State Police motorcycle to admire, and the troopers who drive them can answer questions. Sawyer said events at National Night Out include bicycle helmet fitting, bike registration, face painting, games, a chance to see a Kent County Sheriff Marine Patrol boat and more, making the celebration interesting for all ages. Rockford police began organizing the local National Night Out event along with a host of other community policing programs, such as the Rockford Area Triathlon, Shop with a Cop and Youth Night, as ways to interact with the public in fun settings. The Rockford school district is also one of the last to continue to have a D.A.R.E. program, which here is also organized by a Rockford police officer. With music, plenty to […]

Duplex destroyed, family and pets escape fire

June 16, 2011 // 0 Comments

‘The cat did just what we teach the little kids to do: stay low and go’ by BETH ALTENA A family cat survived a fire so hot and smoky that an entire neighborhood was hidden in the smoke as firefighters tried to extinguish the fully engaged blaze about 3 p.m. on Wednesday, June 8. Neighbors helped the family at 137 Highland View Court remove the pet dogs, but could not locate the 14-year-old house cat. It was speculated at the scene that the fire began in the garage or outside the home and quickly ignited the entire house. According to City Manager Michael Young, who watched fire fighters battle the blaze, the department arrived quickly. The fire was so intense on the windy day that people in the neighborhood were worried their homes might also be set on fire. In addition to multiple Rockford fire trucks and emergency vehicles, trucks from the Algoma Fire Department, Courtland Fire Department and Cannon Fire Department arrived to assist. Young called this “a great example of the success of our Mutual Aid Agreement.” He also said it helped to have many of Rockford’s police and fire personnel cross-trained to be available at a major emergency. Firefighters had the blaze under control and entered the house to continue putting out burns as smoke began to clear. After the fire was contained, the family cat remarkably was found alive in the ruined home, apparently unharmed. A firewall separating the two halves of the duplex held, and the other residence was only damaged by smoke. Chief Mike Reus said an investigation into the cause of the fire will take place this week, but he thinks electrical issues may prove to be the source. He called the fire a “tough one,” which burned very hot and hard. “It was the most intense heat I’ve felt in a long time,” he stated. Reus said he was proud of his crew, who were aided by ideal placement of a fire hydrant directly in front of the home. “That makes a huge difference,” he said. “One of the other firefighters asked how Rockford is able to grow fire hydrants right in front of our fires.” Reus also said the intact firewall between the two halves of the […]