30 dogs dead after West Michigan kennel fire

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In Fruitport Township, Michigan, 30 dogs are believed to have perished in a fire on Friday morning at Storm’s Ahead Kennels. Many of the dog owners had been away on spring break vacations when the kennel fire broke out.

According to the Detroit Free Press, the fire was reported at the premises, located at East Mount Garfield Road at 4:41 a.m. By the time firefighters arrived, the kennel was completely engulfed in flames. Tragically, there was no ability to rescue any of the dogs inside. The kennel had been at near capacity. Storm’s Ahead Kennels have been open since 2004 and is also known as a breeding facility for Labrador Retrievers and German shepherds.

The owners of the kennel, Janet Rehfus and Michael Weiden, who live on the property, said they had awakened to use  the bathroom and saw the “glow” of the fire. The fire had already progressed by that time.

It is not known what caused the fire.

Rest in peace sweet dogs.

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  1. So sad. RIP sweet pups that perished in the fire. I feel so sorry for the owners’ loss. Shouldn’t the kennel have sprinkler and alarm systems?

  2. My sincere condolences to all the pet owners that boarded their pets thinking they would be safe while they were away. We who have no other recourse but to board our pets know there is a chance that a tragedy like this can happen, but in life our own homes could burn down with our pets in them. My heart goes out to the owners of this Kennel, I went on their web site and it looked to be a well cared for facility, I can’t imagine the devastation that Janet Rehfus and Michael Weiden are feeling right now. they and the pet owners that lost their dogs are in my thoughts and prayers.

  3. So very sad!!! This is the Reason we only do day trips!!! Even then something unforeseen can happen . lightening strike, malfunction of heating… My prayers to everyone that lost their beloved pets!!!

  4. I thought they suppose to have fire sprinkler system installed in the kennels. Of course tragedies can happen and it doesn’t have to be somebodies fault but don’t boarding facilities suppose to have fire sprinklers?
    My heart goes to poor pups and their owners.

    • The state of michigan does not require fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers, smoke alarms etc as part of the yearly inspection to grant a license. You’ve got to do your homework dog owners and find a kennel that does. Please spread the word as this is very sad tragedy for all


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