Harvard Tavern storage shed burns down in Oakfield Township


By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 2:36 pm on Friday, November 30, 2012

The Oakfield Township Fire Department was dispatched to 12607 Harvard Ave. NE near Cedar Springs at 10:41 a.m. Friday. — Daily News/Kelli Ameling

OAKFIELD TOWNSHIP — A demolition on the north side of a storage building caused a Friday morning fire that took down the rest of the unit a business was trying to save.

The Oakfield Township Fire Department was dispatched to 12607 Harvard Ave. NE near Cedar Springs at 10:41 a.m. The storage building sits behind the Harvard Tavern and is owned by tavern owner J.D. Brigham, according to Kent County property tax information.

Oakfield Township Fire Chief Don Riker said people were working on the north side of the building. When they were torching beams, insulation caught fire and spread quickly through the part of the building the owners were trying to save.

“(The building) was empty,” Riker said. “No one injured.”

Riker said workers tried to extinguish the fire with buckets of water because fire extinguishers were not close by.

Although the Harvard Tavern and a house sit close to the fire, Riker said firefighters were not worried about those facilities catching fire because of the direction of the wind.

“The wind was pushing the fire west away from the other buildings,” he said.

The Spencer Township Fire Department and Courtland Township Fire Department assisted at the scene. The Montcalm Township Fire Department was placed on standby, but did not need to respond.

Firefighters cleared the scene around noon.

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