Woman dies, teen burned in Grand Rapids house fire

Paris Avenue SE, Grand Rapids, house fire
Grand Rapids firefighters respond to a kitchen fire on Paris Avenue SE. (Feb. 9, 2017)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A woman who suffered a heart attack during a kitchen fire in Grand Rapids has died.

It happened at a home in the 1700 block of Paris Avenue SE near Dickinson Street in the Madison neighborhood. Grand Rapids Fire Department Chief John Lehman said a small grease fire sparked on a stove just before 6 p.m. Thursday.

Police said the 67-year-old woman went into cardiac arrest on the porch after firefighters helped her out of the home. Lehman said the medical issue may have been a result of the conditions caused by the fire.

A 15-year-old girl suffered second-degree burns to her hands and face, firefighters said. She was taken to Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

“Fires in kitchens … it’s a fire that happens quite often within the United States,” Lehman said. “This fire could have been prevented. Grease fires, you should never try to lift the pan, remove the pan from the stove, and that’s what happened in this situation was the fact that the occupant tried to move the pan from the stove and that resulted in burns to her as well as the fire extension within the kitchen.”

Two other people at the house, an older man and a 10-year-old boy who was in a wheelchair, were not hurt.

The house sustained minor damage.

Lehman said there was only one working smoke detector in the house, which was in the kitchen.

The GRFD said the woman’s death is the third in the last 2.5 months involving homes that lacked adequate or working smoke detectors. Lehman reminded residents that Grand Rapids has a program that installs smoke detectors in homes for free. Residents can call 311 for more information on that program.

“There’s no reason why any home should go unprotected in the City of Grand Rapids,” Lehman said.