Members of the Ferndale Fire Department and other neighboring fire departments extinguish a fire that destroyed a home on East Saratoga Street Feb. 6. The home was described as a “total loss.”

Members of the Ferndale Fire Department and other neighboring fire departments extinguish a fire that destroyed a home on East Saratoga Street Feb. 6. The home was described as a “total loss.”

Photo provided by Ang Frank


Fire destroys Ferndale home, several pets perish in blaze

By: Mike Koury | Metro | Published February 22, 2021

FERNDALE — A fire at a home in Ferndale in early February destroyed the home and took the lives of several pets.

Firefighters from the Ferndale Fire Department responded to the scene at approximately 10:45 p.m. Feb. 6 in the 1700 block of East Saratoga. The fire departments in Madison Heights and Hazel Park also assisted with efforts to extinguish the blaze.

According to her crew at the scene, Ferndale Fire Chief Teresa Robinson said, the fire was bad enough that firefighters had to take up defensive operations from the beginning of their fight.

“They stated, when we got on scene, part of the roof had already collapsed,” she said. “At that point, you have to consider the structure unstable, so they could not enter the structure at that time. There was a large amount of fire in the structure, and they were able to work to suppress the fire.”

The fire crews were at the scene until the early morning hours, Robinson said, as they needed to go through the home and search for hot spots that, if not dealt with, could restart the fire. The home was described as a “total loss.”

The cause of the fire still is under investigation, according to the Fire Department, but it appeared to be accidental and potentially tied to a cooking incident.

The home on East Saratoga belonged to a 69-year-old Ferndale woman. The fire was called in by some of her neighbors.

“They were the ones that noticed the fire and called 911, and the resident did get herself out of the home prior to our arrival,” Robinson said. “We did not execute the rescue. She was out of the home when we got there.”

The woman was transported by Madison Heights personnel to DMC Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment. Lt. Nate Figueroa, of the Madison Heights Fire Department, said the woman suffered burns to her arms and head.

“We estimated her at about second-degree burns over about 9% of her body,” he said. “She had some signs of inhalation of superheated gasses as well, as indicated by singed nose hairs and some soot built up around the mouth and the nose.”

The last she knew of the Ferndale woman’s condition, Robinson said she was in stable condition. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the woman through this time. It can be found by going to www.gofundme.com and searching “Help Our Ferndale Neighbor Donna.”

Unfortunately, Robsinson said, a dog and a couple of cats perished in the fire. When firefighters were able to search inside the home, they found that some of the woman’s other pets had survived.

“There was three or four cats found alive after they extinguished the fire and were able to get into the structure,” she said. “They found the cats somehow miraculously made it through the incident. They were able to get them out.”