Shelby TownshipDecember 10, 2012
Shelby Township police, fire unite to help victims of Shelby Manor fire
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — As if rescuing nearly 100 senior citizens from an early-morning three-alarm fire wasn’t enough.
On the heels of helping 90 residents from Shelby Manor senior apartments to safety after a Nov. 17 fire forced the full evacuation of the complex’s building B, the Shelby Township Police and Fire departments can’t stop themselves from helping.
Members of both departments and several other township employees volunteered Dec. 1 to help residents who were forced to move out of their Shelby Manor apartments by removing their belongings and helping arrange storage until the residents can return home.
“Sgt. Cazabon, our community policing sergeant, learned through the senior center that there were several seniors that didn’t have any way of getting moved out of their apartment because of disabilities and not having a lot of family connections,” Police Chief Roland Woelkers said.
“He put together a team of about 10 officers, 10 firemen, we had some people from (human resources) and some other people from the township,” Woelkers added. “We got together on Saturday, and from about (8 a.m.) to (1 p.m.), we boxed up their apartment and helped them move and put them into storage.
“So we want to thank those officers, firemen and other people in the township that came together and worked in a nice team setting — especially with the holidays.
“It’s pretty traumatic for a lot of these seniors to have all of their possessions be boxed up and taken away,” Woelkers said. “And it worked out really well, and it was really good for the township and the seniors.”
Along with physically lending a hand to the displaced seniors, the Police Department has started a financial fund to assist 13 renters who did not have insurance and have no families to help them through the ordeal.
“I’ve talked to many of those seniors, and they very much appreciate the efforts,” Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said. “Thanks again to the Police Department.”
Donations to the fund can be sent to the Shelby Township Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 143 at 52530 Van Dyke Ave. in Shelby Township. Checks or envelopes should note “senior assistance.”