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Business fire shuts down Alpine Ave between Ann and Richmond


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- Crews are on scene of a business fire on Alpine Avenue NW in Grand Rapids.

Early reports indicate the flames erupted near the Grand Rapids Central Iron and Steel property, just north of Richmond Street. The exact business is not yet known.

No one was injured.

The fire has been contained as of 5:30 p.m. Crews will remain on the scene for several hours to make sure the fire stays out and to assess the damage.

Alpine Ave NW between Ann St. and Richmond St. will remain closed while firefighters are on scene.

The cause of the fire is not yet know.

Stay with WZZM 13 online and on-air at 6:30 p.m. for the latest information.

Woman taken to hospital after crashing into home


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- One woman was taken to the hospital after crashing her SUV into a home on Grand Rapids' west side.

Local police and fire departments responded to the scene on Richmond Ave just after noon on Sunday.

GRPD investigating shots fired on West Side


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- We're hearing from people in the Grand Rapids West Side neighborhood where a number of cars and houses were hit with bullets early Friday morning.

The gunfire was first reported around 1 a.m. near the corner of Douglas Street and Lexington Avenue.

When officers arrived, they found shell casings over a two block area, as well as damaged cars and homes.

There are no reports of any injuries.

"There's always going to be bad eggs; we just gotta look out for each other," said neighbor Charlie Peterson. "It's a close-knit neighborhood. I talked to the neighbors -- we're all gonna look out for each other."

Anyone with information on the shots fired should contact Grand Rapids police.


Habitat for Humanity wraps up $5M West Side campaign


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Habitat for Humanity campaign on the West Side of Grand Rapids has helped 200 families in the last two years. In the process, the group has also improved neighborhoods.

The recently-completed $5 million Building Blocks campaign took a different approach to the group's work. Habitat for Humanity decided to revitalize entire neighborhoods instead of rehabbing single homes. To do this, the campaign set out to repair 160 homes and build 40.

Individuals and corporations donated to fund the project.

Outside a Building Blocks house Wednesday, we spoke to Steven Jones. He, his wife, and five kids are moving into that new home.

"We are going to be here, my kids are going to be who they want to be regardless of our economic situation; so yeah, we are extremely grateful for the opportunity to do that," he said.

Camp Sparkle celebrates 11 years at Gilda's Club


GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) -- An annual day camp is underway for kids who have been impacted by cancer or grief.

Camp Sparkle at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is free to attend and open to students from all surrounding communities. It provides children with a chance to connect and interact with other children who have struggled through situations similar to their own.

This year, the camp will focus on learning around the world. Children are invited to "travel" from country to country while learning how to address their life's challenges in a healthy manner.

You can still register to attend. It happens every Tuesday until August 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids Clubhouse. It's located at 1806 Bridge Street NW. Campers may join and attend any camp date.

Grand Rapids commercial fire causes $1M in damages


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Officials say a fire at a Grand Rapids demolition and salvage business caused an estimated $1 million in damage. The fire began around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday at Pitsch Companies, located at 675 Richmond NW near Alpine Avenue.

Late Thursday afternoon, fire inspector Kevin Robinson said the source of the fire is still undetermined. Robinson said the last workers on premises left at 8 PM.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions and saw fireballs erupt. Authorities say they were caused by burning oxygen, propane, and acetylene tanks. The fire sent a large plume of smoke over the city's West Side.

Alpine Avenue may go on road diet


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Plainfield Avenue is one of several in the city that have gone on "diets" in recent years - slimming down from four full lanes striped for cars only, to three lanes, including a middle turn and room on the side for bikes. Now, city traffic manager Christopher Zull says a portion of Alpine Avenue may undergo the same change.

Zull says the aim is to improve safety, as well as traffic flow. Zull says crashes would likely be reduced by a third, while creating "a more consistent" traffic flow.

The area of Alpine in particular is north of Leonard at Richmond, an area that recently was resurfaced. A public meeting about the plan was held Monday night at the Richmond Park pavilion.