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Gas line break shuts down 28th Street

GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM)— A portion of 28th Street was shut down Friday morning after a construction accident near Fox Ford.

A representative for DTE says a construction worker hit a gas line while digging near 3665 28th Street, causing a leak around 8:30 a.m.

The utility company sent a repair crew out to seal the leak. The westbound lanes of 28th Street reopened by 10:15 a.m. No injuries were reported.

Overnight fire damages Kentwood duplex

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- Crews are trying to figure out what sparked an overnight duplex fire.

Dispatchers received a call around 2 a.m. Thursday about flames coming out of the back of the home on Kimball Avenue SE near 2nd Street and Kalamazoo Avenue.

A neighbor saw the fire and smoke coming out of the home and called 911.

Firefighters were able to put the fire out in about 20 minutes. The home sustained heavy damage.

Investigators tell us no one was home when the fire broke out and no one was hurt.

Industrial metrology leader Jenoptik introduces The Better Parts Challenge

KENTWOOD, Mich.-- Jenoptik Industrial Metrology today announced a special 2014 regional event—The Better Parts Challenge—to be held in conjunction with Metrocal in Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 16 and July 17, 2014.

Jenoptik is inviting regional manufacturers to bring their part quality challenges to its experts, who will show how its precision measurement technology can help them produce higher quality parts. Metrocal, a regional Sales Partner, will co-host with Jenoptik as they demonstrate how measuring devices and software can help local manufacturers “make better parts.”

“We know that part manufacturers are constantly striving to make good products better,” states Peter Ackroyd, Jenoptik sales manager. “Precision measurement of surface, form, and dimension will do just that.

Cost of cutting down your tree

KENTWOOD/WYOMING, Mich. (WZZM) -- The cities of Kentwood and Wyoming are providing places for people to take downed trees and debris.

In Wyoming, head to the yard waste drop off site at 2660 Burlingame Ave. from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday and Saturday from 8:00am to 5:00pm.

Kentwood city workers will be at Kelloggwood Park until 10 pm each night. 199 Kellogg Woods Park Dr SE.

Some residents are cleaning up on their own, but others are quickly realizing they can't do it alone.

William Empey was dumping out yet another tree load at Kelloggwood Park Tuesday night.

"I've been to one yard, five trailer loads," he said. "One big tree," he said.

Empey is a lumberjack of sorts, and he's working on a few yards to help his landlord and renters in the neighborhood.

Red Cross, Salvation Army shelters open for tornado victims

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) - The Red Cross and Salvation Army have two shelters in place for those needing help from Sunday night's tornado.

The Red Cross shelter is at the Kentwood Community Center at 355 48th Street SE. The Salvation Army Shelter is at Ideal Park Christian Reformed Church on 56th Street SW.

The Red Cross is in communication with emergency management and the shelter will remain open as long as necessary. If residents need assistance with evacuation, they are encouraged to call 9-1-1.

BBB warns of tornado scammers: 'They're like vultures'

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The Better Business Bureau says scam artists are trying to take advantage of people affected by the storm.

Residents are describing them as vultures, and WZZM 13 is looking into why residents should beware of strangers knocking at their door.

"Nearly everyday we'll get knocks on the door and it's people doing tree removal," says Mitch Ware, whose home was damaged during the tornado.

"We've had half a dozen people walk right up to us and give us cards," says Dianna Kisner, whose home was damaged during the tornado.

The sea of scattered trees could also have scam artists thinking in terms of green. Often, it starts with a knock on the door, says the Better Business Bureau.

Tornado leaves six mile swath of destruction in Kent Co.

KENTWOOD, Mich. (WZZM) -- The National Weather Service confirms a tornado touched down in Kent County Sunday night.

The twister, rated a high-end EF1, with winds 100-110 miles per hour, struck at 10:20 p.m. near 64th Street and Burlingame Ave. SW. It was on the ground for 10 minutes and 6.25 miles and was 900-1,200 feet at its widest, according to the NWS. It lifted around 10:30 p.m. near the area of Breton Road and 28th Street SE.

There was no watch or warning posted at the time and tornado sirens did not sound. Affected areas included Byron Center, Wyoming, Kentwood, and Grand Rapids.

Aerial footage shows the tornado ripped roofs off approximately 50 houses, garages, and businesses, uprooted large trees, and scattered debris throughout the area. Tens of thousands of customers are without power and it could be days before it's restored because of snapped power poles.