Fire destroys staircase at Tunnel Park in Holland

A fire destroys the staircase at Tunnel Park in Holland. (July 3, 2015)


HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — A fire at Tunnel Park in Holland destroyed the staircase which stretches from the park to the beach.

The fire was reported around 6 a.m. Friday by a boater who saw flames, although the fire chief said the fire was most likely burning all night.

“A passerby on the lake, a boater actually called it in about a 100-by-50ish area on fire. He was unsure what it was at the time,” said Lt. Andy Slaugh with the Park Township Fire Department.

>>PHOTOS: Fire at Tunnel Park

There was minimum damage to the observation deck. Dune grass near the staircase was also destroyed in the fire.

“It’s kind of upsetting because we like to come up here and see what is going on. There is always something exciting happening on the beach, different people and boats and just come up to watch and use the steps for exercise,” said Beth Durdle who walks the stairs often.

The cause of the fire is unknown, but remnants of fireworks were found at the scene. Investigators say it’s too early to determine if fireworks are what caused the fire, although lab testing is underway.

“It’s the same thing every year. Obviously use good judgement if you are going to light some fireworks off. Use good judgement and be safe,” said Lt. Slaugh.

The beach will be open Friday and can be accessed through the tunnel. The observation deck will still be accessible from the east side of Tunnel Park.

Crews on scene told 24 Hour News 8 that the stairs were only 2 years old, but the observation deck was scheduled to be refurbished.

The hope among those at Tunnel Park Friday is that out of the destruction a new set of stairs will rise.

“It’s sad for all the visitors now on a holiday weekend that come and have to face that. Yeah, we feel real about it. I hope they rebuild it real quick so we can have it and enjoy it and have visistors come and enjoy it,” said Durdle.

WOOD TV8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s