Firefighters battle two blazes, extricate motorists from van

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published November 5, 2015

 Firefighters use hose lines from a ladder truck to pull out contents of a semi-trailer on Axtell to extinguish the blaze Nov. 4.

Firefighters use hose lines from a ladder truck to pull out contents of a semi-trailer on Axtell to extinguish the blaze Nov. 4.

Photo provided by the Troy Fire Department

Firefighters fought two blazes and extricated two men from a van that had rolled over Nov. 4. Officials continue to investigate the cause of a blaze that destroyed a 10,000-square-foot storage building on Coolidge Highway.

Firefighters were dispatched to the former Vehma Industries, in 1300 block of Coolidge Highway, at 2:45 p.m. and discovered heavy fire and smoke showing from the one-story metal and wood storage building.

According to reports, a tall column of black smoke was visible for several miles.

According to reports, the roof was down and flames were seen throughout the building.

As firefighters battled the blaze, another fire broke out about 100 yards away at an outdoor storage area and semi-trailer next to the Tawas Industries building at 1400 Axtell, said Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts.

He said that fire was likely caused from a burning ember from the building on Coolidge.

Roberts said firefighters used hose lines and a ladder truck to fight the second fire and had to pull burning contents from the trailer to put out the blaze.

Firefighters used water and foam to put out the fires, Roberts said.

The Troy Department of Public Works arrived on the scene with an excavator and a front-end loader to remove parts of the collapsed building so that hidden pockets of fire could be exposed and completely extinguished.

No one was in the building or semi-trailer at the time of the fire, according to reports.

Roberts said it appeared the Coolidge building was used to store furniture and auto parts.

While firefighters battled those blazes, additional firefighters were dispatched to the scene of a rollover accident where two men in reportedly stable condition were trapped inside a minivan at Long Lake Road, west of Dequindre. Police and fire officials did not have details of the rollover crash at press time. Eastbound Long Lake Road was closed for about one hour and the men suffered minor injuries, Roberts said.

Roberts said one firefighter suffered symptoms of dehydration at the scene of the Coolidge fire and was transported to Beaumont Hospital, Troy, for overnight observation. The firefighter was expected to be released today.

Roberts said the Troy Fire Department was on the scene of the fires for five and a half hours and the rollover accident for about 45 minutes.

According to reports, there were no other injuries reported or damage to any other structures. The Coolidge storage building is a total loss, Roberts said. The building the semi-trailer was parked next to suffered minor damage on the exterior with some smoke in the warehouse portion, Roberts said.