At 12:12 am this morning (Feb. 20, 2020), Holland Firefighters responded to a fire alarm activation at Greenbrier Apartments. While enroute, responding units were notified that there was heavy smoke in the 66-unit apartment building with a fire on the second floor. Upon arrival, at 12:19 am crews entering the structure found a working fire in the 2nd floor trash room with smoke throughout that floor. This smoke extended into the 3rd floor as well. Firefighters worked to evacuate residents from the affected floors and extinguished the fire in the trash room in short order. Firefighters remained on scene to verify extinguishment, ventilate smoke from the structure, and perform air monitoring for carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide; prior to allowing occupants to re-enter their apartments.
There were no serious injuries to occupants or responding firefighters however one occupant did sustain minor smoke inhalation and was transported to Holland Hospital for treatment and observation. The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental and most likely a result of discarded smoking materials. Damage as a result of the fire was limited to a large rubbish cart.
All 3 Holland Stations responded to the fire and mutual aid was received from the Holland Township Fire Department and Hamilton Fire Department. Officers from the Holland Police Department were on scene early into the incident and assisted throughout. AMR provided transport of the occupant that experienced smoke inhalation.
This incident marks the 3rd fire in a commercial structure where fire alarm systems activated and provided early notification of a fire in the building. Two of these involved the activation of automatic sprinklers. These include the most recent fire at the Medilodge of Holland on February 18, 2020 and a fire at LG Chem on January 30, 2020. Fire alarm systems, fire protection systems and a rapid response from the fire department have translated into positive outcomes that include limited property loss, minimal interruption to the occupants and most of all no loss of life.
The department would like to remind all Holland residents and businesses to take fire alarm and smoke alarm activation seriously. These three incidents underscore the value of not being complacent. Once alarms activate implement your evacuation plans and emergency operations plans. If you need assistance establishing these safety protocols, please contact the Holland Fire Department on how to do so.