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Chimney fire to blame for damaged home in Cannon Twp.


CANNON. TWP. Mich. (WZZM) -- Investigators say it was a fire in the chimney that started the blaze that destroyed much of a home in Cannon Township home Sunday.

The homeowner says he was in the basement of the home on Cannonsburg Road just before 2:30 p.m. when he and his girlfriend heard a noise upstairs. When he went up to check, he found the whole upstairs on fire. 

Both people were able to get out of the house unharmed. 

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Jim Harbaugh visits Rockford, wooing Quinn Nordin


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- There's been a lot of buzz this week about whether or not University of Michigan head football coach, Jim Harbaugh would visit Rockford this week, hoping to woo Rams' kicker, Quinn Nordin to Ann Arbor.

Army mom returning to West Mich. surprises kids at school


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A member of the Kurek family had made it home for the holidays. Their mother, Elise, has been gone for seven months, training for a medical career in the Army.

The family planned to pick her up at the airport Friday night, but she surprised her two kids early, in the middle of a Valley View Elementary School assembly.

Elise will be home for the next two weeks. They plan to have a lot of visits from family.

North Rockford MS students become Santa's elves


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Every year at Christmastime, tradition turns North Rockford Middle School shop class students into Santa's elves.

In the video above, WZZM 13 photojournalist Bridgette Pacholka shows us what they built this year, and the reaction of the children who received the special delivery.

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Police: Man, 20, dies in self-inflicted gun accident


Update: This story has been updated with additional information from the Kent County Sheriff's Department.

ALGOMA TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) -- An incident involving a man fatally shooting himself in the head late Saturday is considered accidental.

Cory Newville, 20, suffered a self-inflicted gunshot wound while with friends, Kent County Undersheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young said. An investigation shows that the group was drinking, she added.

It happened around 10:53 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5, at a home on Rector Street NE in Algoma Township.

The group of people Newville was with left him just after the shooting, thinking they could get in trouble, LaJoye-Young said. Another individual discovered Newville and contacted police immediately. Authorities arrived shortly thereafter.

Belding and Blakely near Rockford is closed for a crash.


KENT COUNTY, Michigan (WZZM) -- Multiple people were seriously injured in a crash near Rockford Thursday morning.

The intersection of Belding and Blakely in northern Kent County was closed for a time due to the crash.

Three vehicles were involved. Dispatchers told WZZM 13 at least three people were seriously injured..

Michigan State Police are handling the case. At this time, they cannot confirm the number or extent of the injuries.

The crash happened shortly before 7:30 am. when a car was waiting to turn left, was rear-ended and pushed into a third car.

The accident remains under investigation.


Rockford explosion, fire linked to marijuana butter


ROCKFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- A Friday afternoon fire at a Rockford apartment complex that left a man with serious burns was caused by a butane explosion during the production of marijuana butter, police said Monday.

The fire at Harvest Hill apartments on Childsdale Avenue just south of 10 Mile Road NE was confined to one unit, but several other units were evacuated over concerns about the building's structural integrity.

An initial investigation by the Rockford Department of Public Safety indicates butane was being used to extract hash oil from marijuana in the production of marijuana butter.

"The butane ignited when he lit a cigarette,'' Rockford DPS Director David Jones said, adding that the explosion occurred in a bathroom.

The victim suffered burns to nearly half of his body, including his mouth. Rockford police were not releasing the man's name because of pending criminal charges, Jones said.