Fire at lakefront home shuts down Jefferson Ave. for hours

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published February 1, 2016

 Multiple fire departments were called in to assist St. Clair Shores in fighting the fire.

Multiple fire departments were called in to assist St. Clair Shores in fighting the fire.

Photo by Kristyne E. Demske

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Firefighters spent more than four hours fighting a house fire along Lake St. Clair Jan. 30 that necessitated help from four neighboring agencies, as well.

“I saw a haze off the back,” said Maynard Buszek, who lives three doors down from the house that went up in flames that morning. “I could hear crackling and I saw flames on the back deck (and) smoke coming out the roof.”

Buszek called 911 when he saw flames pouring off the back deck because no one was home at the house, in the 30000 block of Jefferson Avenue, when he noticed the fire around 11:15 a.m. St. Clair Shores Fire Marshal M. Bodnar said it appeared that the fire had been burning for a long time before the Fire Department was able to get to the scene.

“The firefighters encountered heavy fire to the rear of the house. When they made entry into the structure, they encountered collapsed floors,” she said. “It was very difficult to extinguish the fire.”

The department elevated the blaze to a second-alarm fire and received help from Eastpointe, Harrison Township, Warren and Roseville fire departments, as well as the St. Clair Shores Police Department. Police closed down a two block section of Jefferson Avenue, rerouting traffic up to Greater Mack to make room for the fire crews until about 3:40 p.m.

Buszek said he believed that the homeowners were in the process of moving in after purchasing the lakefront home a few months ago.

Bodnar said there is a lot of work to be done before they can find the source of the fire, but it will be under investigation. Although there was a lot of damage to the home, “it’s not a tear-down,” she said.

This is the third house fire in the city since the beginning of the year, Bodnar said. 

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