Downed power line destroys 10 cars on Warren dealer lot

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published April 16, 2018

 Heavy smoke covered the area around 12 Mile and Dequindre roads April 15 as 10 cars ignited by a downed power line burned on the lot at M53 Auto Sales.

Heavy smoke covered the area around 12 Mile and Dequindre roads April 15 as 10 cars ignited by a downed power line burned on the lot at M53 Auto Sales.

Photo by Maria Allard

WARREN — A combination of wind and ice brought down a high-voltage power line that started a fire and torched 10 vehicles on a dealer lot April 15.

Warren Fire Commissioner Wilbert “Skip” McAdams said firefighters were dispatched at 1:19 p.m. to M53 Auto Sales, 2246 12 Mile Road, just east of Dequindre Road.

“A downed wire, a primary wire, fell on three cars, igniting the cars, and the fire spread to seven adjacent vehicles,” McAdams said. “All 10 vehicles are a total loss.”

Heavy smoke covered the area as the cars burned. The danger resulting from the wire meant Warren firefighters were required to make contact with DTE Energy, which dispatched a supervisor and a crew that specializes in the management of primary lines.

“There was a potential for the electricity to travel up the hose stream and kill us,” McAdams said. “We couldn’t do anything until that power line was secured. Once they were able to de-energize that wire, we were able to put out what remained of the 10 vehicles.”

There were no injuries to anyone at the dealership, responding firefighters or bystanders, but McAdams said gawkers trying to take photos and videos raised safety concerns when they ventured too close.

The Warren Fire Department responded to about 60 calls for downed wires before 4 p.m. that day, when the ice had melted and the storm had subsided. McAdams said the southwest quadrant of the city was the hardest hit.