Greenville fire ruled an arson


By Daily News • Last Updated 11:56 am on Monday, January 23, 2012

GREENVILLE — A fire at 313 E. Cass Street on Jan. 13 has been declared an act of arson.

An investigation by the Greenville Department of Public Safety Fire Investigation Unit of the fire has been completed and according to Public Service Officer Jamie Sorsen, the lead investigator on the case, the fire was intentionally set on the second floor of the structure.

When officers arrived on scene they discovered an occupant was trapped on the second floor of the residence and rescued the individual. He was later identified as Dennis R. Vanderzand. A second subject was also assisted from the residence.

Initial dispatch information available to investigators indicated Vanderzand claimed the second subject in the residence started his clothes on fire in his bedroom.

Sgt. Brian Blomstrom initially investigated the scene and interviewed individuals at the residence.  A search warrant was then executed on the residence in order to determine the origin and cause of the fire.

“Investigations of this detail take time and extensive training,” said Blomstrom. “Acquiring measurements, capturing photographs, conducting interviews, reconstructing the scene, and analyzing all possible fire ignition sources into account are all part of a complete investigation. Having an internal specialized team available to perform these duties is very beneficial to the department and the community.”

Both Sgt. Blomstrom and Sorsen investigated the fire within the structure. Their findings led Sorsen to rule the fire was intentionally set in the upstairs bedroom of the house.

Once the report is completed and finalized, it will be sent to the Montcalm County Prosecutor’s Office for review regarding arson-related charges.

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