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 A Dec. 2 fire on Lincoln Avenue in Madison Heights was the result of combustibles in close proximity to an active stove. Officials say the area around appliances producing heat or fire should always be kept clear.

A Dec. 2 fire on Lincoln Avenue in Madison Heights was the result of combustibles in close proximity to an active stove. Officials say the area around appliances producing heat or fire should always be kept clear.

Photo by Brian Louwers


Family dog dies in apartment fire

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published December 5, 2019

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MADISON HEIGHTS — A mother and her young daughter are mourning the loss of the family dog after a fire broke out in their second-story apartment while they were away.

The fire occurred Dec. 2 at the Urbane apartment complex, located in the 1300 block of East Lincoln Avenue, occurring early in the day after the family had already left. Madison Heights firefighters were called to the scene around 7:45 a.m., followed by firefighters from Hazel Park, Royal Oak and Ferndale. It took first responders about 15 minutes to get the situation under control, extinguishing the fire in the kitchen in the unit on the second floor of the complex. The kitchen was unsalvageable and the family will have to live elsewhere for the time being.

While the fire was contained to the unit where it started, it resulted in heavy black smoke that forced the other residents at the complex to evacuate. The family’s mixed-breed dog was the only victim in the fire, dying of smoke inhalation. The firefighters located the dog within several minutes and tried to revive it with oxygen outside, but to no avail. The dog’s body was taken to local animal control so that the family could see it one last time.   

Working smoke detectors are credited with sounding the alarm before the fire could spread to the rest of the building.

“The building is equipped with a fire alarm system. When it is triggered, it sends an audible alarm throughout the structure, alerting the residents,” said Madison Heights Fire Marshal Pail Biliti. “A neighbor knew that there was a woman and young child living upstairs, and he went door to door yelling for everyone to get out.”

It appears the fire was caused by combustibles sitting on the stove while the stove was left on. Biliti said that combustibles should be kept at least 3 feet away from any heat- or flame-producing appliances such as stoves, space heaters and fireplaces. Combustible items include paper, clothing, bedding, curtains and rugs. Officials advise that, with space heaters, one should use models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over. Never leave food cooking on the stove unattended, and take care to check electrical appliances before leaving the home, and to not overload electrical outlets. And never use a cooking range or oven to heat a home.

Checking smoke detectors to make sure they have working batteries and that there are smoke detectors near each room on each floor is also advised.

“This could have been much more tragic, if not for a quick response to the audible fire alarm from the residents themselves, the Madison Heights Fire Department and our automatic aid partners,” Biliti said.

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