Dog dies, residents displaced in Clawson apartment fire

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published May 10, 2021

 A dog died in a second story apartment fire that took place at a complex located at 430 N. Crooks Road, north of West 14 Mile Road, at approximately 8:27 a.m. May 10

A dog died in a second story apartment fire that took place at a complex located at 430 N. Crooks Road, north of West 14 Mile Road, at approximately 8:27 a.m. May 10

Photos provided by the Clawson Fire Department

 Firefighters run hand lines to fight a fire at an apartment complex located at 430 N. Crooks Road, north of West 14 Mile Road, May 10.

Firefighters run hand lines to fight a fire at an apartment complex located at 430 N. Crooks Road, north of West 14 Mile Road, May 10.

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CLAWSON — At approximately 8:27 a.m. May 10, the Clawson Fire Department responded to reports of a structure fire at an apartment complex located at 430 N. Crooks Road, north of West 14 Mile Road.

Clawson police were the first on the scene and reportedly spotted smoke coming from a second story apartment window. Firefighters arrived within three minutes of the call to see flames jutting out of the second story apartment window and upgraded the run to a box alarm, which dispatched Troy firefighters to the scene.

Clawson Fire Chief Troy Engel said the resident of the apartment was at home sleeping at the time of the blaze, and investigators identified the cause of the accidental fire as a built-in heater that ignited nearby items inside the apartment.

He said the resident acted appropriately by immediately evacuating the building and closing the door of the bedroom where the fire originated, effectively blocking the flames from rapidly spreading to other units in the complex.

Firefighters ran multiple hand lines from a nearby fire hydrant to fight the blaze.

“We did a transitional attack, where we spray water in from outside until we can safely get inside,” Engel said. “We evacuated that whole entire complex mostly as a precaution, then we got in there and put out the fire.”

Firefighters faced heavy smoke inside the apartment but were able to knock down the flames and ventilate the building. Crew members reportedly had to pull the ceiling down in order to extinguish all of the hot spots and ensure that the blaze would not reignite.

While the fire was contained to the bedroom, other apartments sustained smoke and water damage. Engel estimated that at least two to four residents would be displaced due to the overall damage.

“Unfortunately, (the resident) lost his dog in the fire. We’re pretty confident it was smoke inhalation and that the dog was asleep and never woke up. The dog was still curled up at the foot of the bed. There was no way we could have saved him,” he said. “The owner was very upset. He was a nice guy, just having a terrible day.”

The dog was a Corgi named Waffles who was said to be a "sweet and loving little dog."

“The building management was working with him to try to get another place to stay,” he said. “Our condolences go out to the resident.”

Engel credited Clawson police, Troy firefighters and Alliance Mobile Health for their professionalism and assistance with the incident.

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