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Fire burns home in Center Line

Two responding firefighters injured

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published December 6, 2019


CENTER LINE — Two firefighters suffered minor injuries battling a blaze that spread into the attic and eaves of a two-story home on Alex Street in Center Line Dec. 2. The occupants of the home — a man, a woman and a group of teens — reportedly exited the home safely after calling 911.

Center Line Public Safety Department Division Fire Chief Chuck Schubert said he was the first to arrive at the scene of the fire after a dispatch call came in at about 10:30 p.m.

“It came in as a fire in the chimney, possibly extending to the attic,” Schubert said. “They tried putting water on the fire and it didn’t work, so they ended up calling us.”

The crew of Engine 12, the city’s first arriving apparatus, reportedly stretched a hose line to the rear of the home and began spraying the roof line.

“There were a lot of flames visible in the roof space,” Schubert said. “More manpower showed up. They started working on more fire control.”

Schubert said firefighters from Center Line and the U.S. Army’s Detroit Arsenal entered the house to battle the fire from the inside.

“The Arsenal got on scene and assisted with the interior attack. They made their way up to the second floor. We did some inspection holes,” Schubert said. There was slight smoke up there and no fire visible.

“Basically, the whole attic above the second story, above the bedrooms and everything, was fully involved. They hit the fire for a few seconds and then had to back out. They said extreme heat was coming down on them,” Schubert said.

A firefighter from the Detroit Arsenal was struck by falling drywall and taken by ambulance to the hospital. Part of the debris reportedly struck his helmet.

One of Center Line’s on-call firefighters also suffered what was described as a neck and shoulder injury and went to the hospital on his own for examination.

“My understanding is they both were released,” Schubert said.

Fire crews remained at the scene until after 3 a.m. He said the Red Cross was notified to assist the family.

Schubert stressed the importance of calling 911 immediately upon smelling smoke in the house. He also advised anyone using a fireplace to heat their home to observe all fire safety tips.

“It’s unfortunate that happened, especially during the holidays,” Schubert said.