Fire displaces residents — kitty is safe

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published August 22, 2019

 Lt. Steven Short rescued this cat from a downstairs stairwell after a fire burned through condominiums Aug. 19.

Lt. Steven Short rescued this cat from a downstairs stairwell after a fire burned through condominiums Aug. 19.


Residents remained displaced after a fire ripped through the second and third floors of a large, four-unit condominium on Old Creek Road, near Wattles Road and Interstate 75, just before 7 a.m. Aug. 19. 

A resident of the complex alerted the Fire Department after his smoke alarm sounded and he discovered smoke in his unit, according to a release. 

Crews arrived to find a fire on the back side of the building, with fire and smoke visible from the first and second floors. 

Two condo units were involved and two were endangered, so a second alarm was sounded due to the size of the blaze and the need to search the units to ensure everyone was out, according to a press release. 

Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer said that firefighters entered the center unit to put out the fire and conducted a primary search. 

“There was high heat and smoke, but most of the fire appeared to be outside,” he said. 

Firefighters attacked the blaze from the back of the building while additional crews searched adjoining units for residents and to find and extinguish any extensions of the fire, the release states. 

Crews reportedly knocked the fire down in about 30 minutes and spent the next hour checking for hotspots and confirming that the fire was completely out. 

Firefighters confirmed in a final search that all residents were out of the four units involved in the fire. 

Riesterer said that Fire Lt. Steven Short found a cat under the basement stairwell of an end unit. 

“He put his arm out, and the cat jumped on it,” Riesterer said. The cat was returned to his family at the scene. 

Due to the extensive workload and high humidity, firefighters were rotated through a rehabilitation area staffed by paramedics to monitor their vital signs and to provide water. 

Riesterer said the cause of the blaze remains under investigation, and displaced residents were relocated with family. 

The building remains inhabitable, and the Troy Building Department is denying entry due to partial floor collapse in two of the units, the release states. 

Damage is expected to exceed $100,000, according to the release. 

No one was hurt.