Fire News

Published June 28, 2017

WARREN — Each day, as members of the Lincoln Middle School student council come and go from school, they are aware of the Warren Fire Department Station No. 1 building across the street, at Nine Mile Road and Federal Street.

When the student council members met with their advisor, Mary E. McSherry, earlier this year, they said they wanted to do a service project to help others. LMS is part of Van Dyke Public Schools.

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Published June 28, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — The Fourth of July will arrive with a bang, but to make sure that bang doesn’t precede a siren, take the advice of local safety experts.

With the passage of Michigan Fireworks Safety Act 256 of 2011, the state of Michigan allows for the sale of consumer-grade fireworks and their discharge on the day before, day of and day after 10 specified holidays, including July 4. 

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Published June 26, 2017

MADISON HEIGHTS — The Madison Heights City Council recently approved tentative labor agreements with the city’s three public safety bargaining groups.

Council voted June 12 on the new terms for police officers, police command and firefighters, after each of the three unions had already voted whether to sign the deal. All three groups had voting majorities approving a one-year deal.

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Published June 24, 2017

A motorist saw flames coming from the roof of the Sears store at Oakland Mall at 14 Mile and John R roads and called 911  just before 4:30 a.m. June 23.

Contractors working on the building at the time reported they smelled smoke and called firefighters, according to reports.

Firefighters arrived at the scene and found a small fire with smoke and flames visible at the large, two-story Sears store, which was closed at the time, Assistant Troy Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer said in a prepared statement.

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Published June 23, 2017

On June 20, the Shelby Township Fire Department held a grand opening ceremony for its fifth fire station, located at 21 Mile and Schoenherr roads.

Dozens of community members and children gathered for the raising of the flag, the first call to service, a blessing and a ribbon cutting — as well as a fire hose unscrewing. Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said the approximately $2.5 million project came in under budget.

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Published June 21, 2017

TROY — William Nelson, 70, was on the job in Troy for over 40 years, and he left a lasting legacy. 

Nelson retired as chief of the Troy Fire Department in September 2015 after over four decades with the department. He died June 12 after battling cancer. 

He leaves behind his wife, Doris, of 40 years; daughters Lisa (Mike), Amy and Emily (Josh); son Scott; and grandchildren Margaret, Ben, Jason, Jonah, Jackson, Joshua and James. 

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Published June 21, 2017

OAKLAND TOWNSHIP — The township Fire Department will soon have a new pickup truck and trailer. Fire officials will use the trailer as a mobile workshop, storing maintenance tools and a workbench. 

“We have a lot of building maintenance that we do ourselves,” Oakland Township Fire Chief Paul Strelchuk said. “We are using my old pickup to put tools and stuff in. A lot of the tools have been ruined because it leaks.

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Published June 21, 2017

GROSSE POINTE CITY — The hot weather is great news for boaters, but all of that increased activity and the presence of many vessels in the harbor bring with it the risk of fire.

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Published June 16, 2017

WARREN — Responding to a nightmare scenario is in the potential job description every day for first responders.

It happened twice in recent weeks for a group of Warren firefighters from three stations.

On May 1, teams assigned to Unit 1 from Station 4, Station 5 and Station 6 were dispatched to an afternoon crash on the ramp from eastbound Interstate 696 to northbound Mound, where a truck hauling steel discs overturned onto a passenger car. On June 6, the same crews were called to the scene of a trench collapse on Van Dyke, north of Chicago Road.

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Published June 15, 2017

The Southfield Fire Department is investigating a recent early morning house fire.

According to Fire Chief Johnny Menifee, dispatchers received a call regarding a fire around 12:48 a.m. June 15 at a home in the 28000 block of Aberdeen Street, near Greenfield and Catalpa.

Units from four of the city’s five fire stations arrived at the scene at 12:52 a.m., Menifee said.

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Published June 15, 2017

A 45-year-old man fell about 20 feet from scaffolding around 1 p.m. June 14 at a Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills, construction site.

The man — whose name was not released — is recovering at Beaumont.

“It was a really awful event,” Beth Montalvo, publications and media relations coordinator at Beaumont Hospital, said during a recent interview. “Our construction people, they are part of the (hospital) family. They are working on our site for years — a multiyear expansion and renovation project.”

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Published June 2, 2017

No one was hurt when a dust filter at a factory at Elliott Avenue and Executive Drive, in the 14 Mile and John R roads area, caught fire just after 1 a.m. June 2 while workers were inside.

Firefighters arrived at American MSC Inc. — which manufactures automobile and heavy-duty truck clutches and torque converters, and automobile transmissions, according to the company website — to find a working fire contained to a 30-foot-tall dust collector attached to the building, according to a report.

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Published May 31, 2017

TROY — Each year, fifth-graders in the Troy Public School District are challenged to complete home fire safety checklists for their homes, as well as the homes of neighbors and relatives. 

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Published May 24, 2017

BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP — It was just about two weeks ago that members of the Bloomfield Township Fire Department learned that they had not only been selected as one of five stations in Michigan to receive an equipment grant, but that they had been awarded the largest chunk of that funding.

That money will help take a huge weight off the shoulders of the BTFD firefighters — literally.

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Published May 19, 2017

CENTER LINE — Was it malice, pyromania, or something else?

An arson investigation was ongoing in Center Line May 17, a week after a man who had apparently arrived and left on a bike allegedly set fire to a bale of cardboard recyclables stored next to a garage at Dealers Discount Crafts & Florals on 10 Mile Road, east of Van Dyke, in Center Line.

The burning cardboard ignited the garage and destroyed two vehicles, a forklift, several pallets of merchandise, landscaping equipment, tools and other items, for a total loss of about $300,000 on May 10.

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Published May 18, 2017

Sterling Heights police officers and firefighters are investigating why flames damaged two Sterling Heights apartment buildings the night of May 17, leading to one death and three injuries.

According to police, the blaze began around 11:11 p.m. May 17 at the Sterling Knolls apartments, located in the 11000 block of 15 Mile Road.
Police said a woman was found in an apartment building’s second floor. According to Fire Chief Chris Martin, the deceased victim was identified as Laura Ann Phillips, 33, from Sterling Heights.

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Published May 17, 2017

A malfunctioning 1-pound propane tank attached to a torch in a basement on Walker Drive, near Square Lake and Rochester roads, reportedly exploded and ignited a fire just after 2:30 p.m. May 14.

When firefighters arrived, all residents had evacuated from the home, according to a report. One resident was treated at the scene for a minor burn injury.

Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer explained that the explosion damaged a water pipe, which broke and contained the fire.

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Published May 17, 2017

TROY — Troy volunteer firefighter Gary Wood said the help and guidance of the more seasoned department members he’s served with for the past 33 years were invaluable to him. 

“The old guys took me under their wing,” he said. “I never forgot that.” 

Now a self-professed “older guy,” he said he aims to mentor the newer firefighters at Station 5 — on John R Road, north of Square Lake Road — where he’s served all of his 33 years. 

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Published May 15, 2017

An 84-year-old woman escaped a middle-of-the-night fire that destroyed her home on Little Mack Avenue May 13.

“The neighbor said he saw the fire start at the back of the house and then swept around toward her bedroom,” said Terry Haus, of Chesterfield Township, a friend of the homeowner in the 28000 block of Little Mack Avenue. “She could smell the smoke and could see the flames coming through her window, so she got out of there.”

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Published May 11, 2017

A senior housing unit at Baptist Manor, on West 13 Mile Road, caught fire around 6 p.m. May 10, displacing about 148 people and hospitalizing four due to smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Farmington Hills Fire Department officials said.

“As we speak, the investigators are out and conducting the investigation for the origin and the cause of it,” Chief Jon Unruh said.

He added that the four hospitalized Baptist Manor residents were taken to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills.

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