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UPDATE: GRFD rules Sigsbee Street fire as arson

GRPD cruiser 05222022
Posted at 1:14 PM, Nov 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-21 17:46:47-05

Update from Tuesday, Dec. 21: According to the Grand Rapids Fire Department, the fire on Sigsbee Street has been ruled arson.

The Kent County Prosecutor's Office authorized a first degree arson charge last Saturday (Dec. 18), as 49-year-old Elvin Barnett Burks has been charged with the crime.

He is currently being lodged at the Kent County Correctional Facility.

Tuesday, Nov. 16: The Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments are investigating two early Tuesday morning fires as possible arsons.

The first was called in to the Emergency Communications Center about 5:30 a.m., police said.

Fire department crews arrived to the 1400 block of Sigsbee St. SE to find a home with smoke alarms sounding and smoke inside.

They found an active fire near the back entrance and quickly extinguished it.

No injures were reported.

Another fire was reported about 6:30 a.m. in the 1100 block of Niagra St. SE.

GRFD arrived on scene to find a well-involved vehicle fire, which they also extinguished with no injuries reported.

The fire department told police the fires may have been intentionally set.

These cases will be assigned wo GRPD detectives, who will work with GRFD arson investigators, for follow-up.

Authorities are also considering whether the two fires were connected.

Anyone with information may contact investigators directly at 616-456-3380 or anonymously through Silent Observer at 616-774-2345.

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