Two firefighters injured battling house fire

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published December 7, 2022

 When the Rochester Fire Department arrived at the scene of a fire alarm, heavy smoke was coming from the second floor of a 5,000-square-foot, two-story home Nov. 26.

When the Rochester Fire Department arrived at the scene of a fire alarm, heavy smoke was coming from the second floor of a 5,000-square-foot, two-story home Nov. 26.

Photo provided by the Rochester Hills Fire Department


ROCHESTER HILLS — Two firefighters were injured battling a recent house fire in Rochester Hills.

The Rochester Hills Fire Department responded to a fire alarm at a home in the 800 block of Quarry in Rochester Hills just after 10:30 a.m. Nov. 26.

There was one occupant at home when the fire began, but officials said the resident was able to evacuate prior to the arrival of the Fire Department.

“This house had smoke alarm monitoring as part of the burglar alarm system, so we were dispatched to a residential fire alarm prior to the 911 call from the occupant once they had escaped the home,” said Capt. Ann Echols, the assistant fire marshal for the Rochester Hills Fire Department.

The first unit arrived on scene to find heavy smoke coming from the second floor of the 5,000-square-foot, two-story residential home.

Echols said a “box alarm” was quickly requested, and a citywide response was started.

“A box alarm is where we ask to send us everybody. There is a predetermined call list, depending on the area and the city, but it’s automatic mutual aid from outside cities,” she said.

Multiple neighboring cities responded for mutual aid to the scene, as well as to provide city coverage.

The fire was under control in less than one hour, according to fire officials.

Although no civilians were hurt, officials said two firefighters sustained minor injuries and were transported to a local hospital.

“They were injured by falling debris — musculoskeletal injuries — so nothing life-threatening. They were both released the same day,” Echols said.

At press time, the cause of the fire was still under investigation with the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

Three out of every five home fire deaths result from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, according to the National Fire Protection Association. So the first step in fire prevention is to make sure that you have smoke alarms — with the label of a reputable testing agency, like Underwriters Laboratories (UL).

“For smoke alarms, you should have one in every bedroom and one outside of every sleeping area, and at least one per level of the home,” said Echols.

Once smoke alarms are in place, people should test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year. If you hear a chirping sound, it’s an indication that the battery should be replaced immediately.

Smoke detectors usually last about 10 years and should be changed when the 10 years are up to ensure effectiveness, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Another important safety tip is to sleep with your door closed.

“There is a campaign right now called “Close Where You Doze,” and it’s to stop the spread of fire. Your door can provide protection, so if your house is on fire and your door is closed, the smoke and hot gasses can’t get into your bedroom. … That gives you time to shelter in place,” Echols said. “Right now, you have two minutes or less to safely exit before your house is filled with smoke.”

Echols also suggested that people have an evacuation plan in place in case of a fire.

For instructions on how to make a fire escape plan, visit