Firefighters extinguish apartment fire

By: Terry Oparka | Shelby - Utica News | Published July 9, 2013

No residents of the Roma Valley apartment complex near 22 Mile Road and Shelby Road were hurt when a fire started in an unoccupied apartment at 12:30 p.m. July 8.

Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said nobody was in the vacant unit where the fire started.

“It appeared to be smoldering for a while before somebody noticed it,” he said.

Four apartment units were involved in the blaze, which displaced six families, Swinkowski said July 9.

He expected those families to be returned to their homes soon.

The fire was contained to the side of the building where it started. “There was extensive damage to the roof and attic,” Swinkowski said. He didn’t have an estimate of the damage.

Two Shelby Township firefighters suffered heat exhaustion fighting the blaze. They were treated and released at the scene.

The Sterling Heights Fire Department assisted in extinguishing the fire. Two Sterling Heights firefighters were hit with drywall that fell from the ceiling.

Sterling Heights Fire Chief Chris Martin said that one of the firefighters hit by the drywall suffered a neck strain. He was treated and placed off duty for two days. Martin said he expected that firefighter would be back on duty by July 11.

Martin said that the fire departments in Shelby Township and Sterling Heights have a mutual aid agreement.

“It was a typical mutual aid situation,” Martin said. “We’re here to help each other whenever we can,” he said.

Swinkowski said firefighters were on the scene for about two and a half hours.

He said the cause of the fire was undetermined at press time and remains under investigation.