HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A man was killed in a house fire in Holland early Saturday morning.
It happened around 4 a.m. Saturday at a house on W. 13th Street between Pine and S. River avenues. When firefighters arrived, they found heavy smoke in the back of the home.
Officials say the house is a two-family rental unit where five people live. Four people were inside when the fire started. Only one was unaccounted for when emergency responders arrived.
Firefighters found 29-year-old Jeremiah Donald Smith in the house and carried him out. Attempts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
The owner of the house told 24 Hour News 8 that Smith was not a tenant. Rather, he was visiting for the weekend. The owner did not know why Smith was unable to escape the fire.
Damage to the house and the property inside is estimated to be around $50,000 Holland DPS said.
Investigators have determined that the fire originated in a rear bedroom on the first floor of the residence. The exact cause of the fire has not yet been determined, but it is not believed to be suspicious in nature. Investigators are looking into candles, smoking materials, incense, or other devices that may have been used at the residence.
The occupants of the home were alerted by smoke detectors at the time of the fire. The upstairs tenants as well as the occupants of the lower level were able to escape before firefighters arrived except for Smith who was unable to exit and died as a result of smoke inhalation.
Investigators believe Smith was in the downtown Holland area until around 2:30 a.m. on Saturday while meeting up with an acquaintance who has not yet been identified.
Investigators are asking anyone who may have had contact with Smith during the evening hours of Friday, June 17, or early morning hours of Saturday, October 18, to contact the Holland Department of Public of Safety at 616.355.1150 or Silent Observer at 1.877.88.SILENT.