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Arson investigation underway; neighbors say homeowner intentionally set fire

Kalamazoo County officials are investigating a suspicious fire after an explosion rocked The Colonial Manor Mobile Home Park in Oshtemo Township Sunday afternoon. (WWMT/Zach Lawler)

Kalamazoo County officials are investigating a suspicious fire after an explosion rocked The Colonial Manor Mobile Home Park in Oshtemo Township Sunday afternoon.

Neighbors Chad and Caley Riemens came running to the rescue after hearing the explosion just a few doors down on Blindmans Cove.

“I saw all the smoke coming from the house and I hollered for [Chad] and came running down here and I asked if they called 9-1-1,” Caley Riemens said.

That's when her husband grabbed a fire extinguisher.

"I ended up breaking that door in and we ended up going through like eight fire extinguishers,” Chad Riemens said.

No one was inside the home, but neighbors believe the homeowner intentionally set the fire after getting into an argument with his girlfriend.

“I heard them arguing early in the morning and then I seen him making a Molotov cocktail,” Codie Deryke said. “He pretty much threw it in the back of the trailer and then it pretty much caught on fire and a few minutes later it exploded."

Pictures from inside the home show the charred-out trailer.

The Riemens say this isn't the first time this has happened.

“This is the second time he's tried lighting his trailer on fire. He was actually in jail for it for a while, a year ago,” said the Riemens.

Court records show the homeowner, whom Newschannel3 is not naming because he hasn't been charged with a crime, has two page rap sheet including a domestic violence charge from 2017.

“If you are in a relationship that is abusive and you feel there's no way out, there's always some help,” said Caley. “You need to get out of that situation or you're going to end up like this woman here. It's just sad, it could've been way worse. She could’ve been inside that house."

While police have not identified a suspect yet, fire officials confirm they are investigating this case as a potential arson.

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