Firefighters work at the site of a garage fire in Berkley Feb. 28.

Firefighters work at the site of a garage fire in Berkley Feb. 28.

Photo provided by Andrew Hadfield

Downed power line causes garage fire

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published March 5, 2024


BERKLEY — A fire in Berkley almost destroyed a garage, but nearby DTE Energy workers were able to assist in preventing the blaze from spreading.

According to the Berkley Public Safety Department, it received a report of a garage fire at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, in the 3200 block of Kipling Avenue, near 12 Mile Road and Coolidge Highway.

Police were notified of a downed power line on top of a garage, and that sparking and smoke was seen at the structure.

Workers from DTE Energy also were in the area for a separate call.

“Some wind that had come through and knocked a tree down, and they were responding to the area, to that downed power line and pole,” Berkley Public Safety Detective Lt. Andrew Hadfield said.

When officers arrived at the area and noticed that DTE was nearby, the DTE workers were able to assist police and cut the power to the downed line.

Public safety officers were able to extinguish the fire after around an hour. Hadfield stated that they were unsure of how the power line above the garage originally fell.

“They were on scene pretty quickly to be able to shut it off,” Hadfield said. “Once they shut it off, they … knocked out the fire and then just checked for any extension and made sure that it was out before cleaning up and returning.”

“There was minimal structural damage to the roofline, and most of the contents did survive, although they would have some water damage just from putting it out. But overall, (the firefighting effort) was able to save a lot just generally because of DTE’s quick response,” he continued.

Had DTE not already been in the area and responded quickly, Hadfield believes the fire could have wiped out the entire garage.

“In any fire where it’s still electrically charged, a lot of times they end up in complete losses of the structure,” he said. “By having them there so quickly, we were able to save a lot of that, and had they not been able to shut it off, unfortunately, the garage may have suffered a lot more damage due to … being unable to extinguish it while it’s still actively energized.”