Arrest made in suspicious fire case

The Michigan State Police (MSP) Houghton Lake Post and MSP Fire Marshall were called to a suspicious fire early morning on October 15, 2018 at a residence on Anderson Road in Kalkaska. The Kalkaska Township Fire Department responded to the scene and a firefighter was injured while rescuing a woman inside. The firefighter was treated at Kalkaska Memorial Health Center (KMHC) Emergency Department. The woman was also taken to KMHC and later transferred to a hospital in Grand Rapids for further treatment.
The MSP accelerant K-9 alerted to the living room floor for the presence of accelerants. Samples were extracted by the MSP Fire Marshall and submitted to the MSP Crime Lab for analysis. The investigation led to the arrest of 54-year-old Gretchen Lee VanOrmer, the woman injured in the fire.
VanOrmer was arraigned on February 5, 2020 in the 87-B District Court of Kalkaska for one count First Degree Arson, a felony punishable by imprisonment for life or any term of years or a fine of not more than $20,000.00 or 3 times the value of the property damaged or destroyed, whichever is greater, or both imprisonment and a fine. She was released on a $20,000 10% cash surety bond.

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