Royal Oak police rescue woman from house fire, firefighters douse blaze

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published April 19, 2021

 Royal Oak police rescued a woman from a burning house in the 700 block of Magnolia Avenue April 7.

Royal Oak police rescued a woman from a burning house in the 700 block of Magnolia Avenue April 7.

Photo by Sarah Wojcik

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ROYAL OAK — At approximately 9 p.m. April 7, Royal Oak first responders received a 911 call about a burning house in the 700 block of Magnolia Avenue, where a husband, wife and their dog lived.

Police on patrol arrived on the scene, which is near the intersection of Crooks Road and Vinsetta Boulevard, before the Royal Oak Fire Department and observed that the inside of the home was engulfed in flames.

Royal Oak Fire Marshal Shawn Lambouris said that the husband and the dog were able to make it out of the home on their own, but the wife was still inside the home when first responders arrived.

Police Chief Corrigan O’Donohue said the husband indicated to the officers that his wife was still inside the burning home.

“Officers went to the front door, then (the husband) indicated that she might be near the back door, but she was near the side door,” O’Donohue said. “They were able to force entry, and she was right on the other side of the door, but where she was positioned, it was a little bit difficult. A couple of times, the officers went in and were forced back from the smoke.”

Police successfully pulled her out of the burning home and onto the lawn. O’Donohue said she was unresponsive and did not appear to be breathing.

“I am extremely proud of our officers. They acted without hesitation,” he said. “Their quick actions, bravery and teamwork saved this woman’s life.”

Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook said the Fire Department transported the woman to Beaumont Hospital, and as of April 12, she was doing much better.

Lambouris said the fire is still under investigation, but that he believes the fire originated in the living room.

“Most of the fire damage was inside the living room, and I have not determined an absolute cause, but I’m going back to investigate more,” Lambouris said. “Fortunately, we were able to put the fire out rather quickly. It never got into the attic or roof.”

Unfortunately, he said, there was a lot of smoke and water damage throughout the home.

“I just want to remind everybody to check their smoke detectors,” he said. “They save lives.”

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