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Fire News

Published January 11, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — On Dec. 21, the Shelby Township Board of Trustees unanimously approved a two-year extension of Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski’s contract.

The extension takes his contract through Feb. 18, 2021. His contract previously was set to expire Feb. 18, 2019.

The contract includes a salary jump from $107,610 to $116,590 — a flat rate without performance bonuses — and a reduction in the amount of cash payment for unused vacation hours, from 80 to 40.

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Published January 10, 2017

The Police and Fire departments in Sterling Heights are expecting staff or program changes to continue even as the demand for their service grows.

According to Sterling Heights Police Chief John Berg, police took 54,922 calls for service in 2016, a 6.3 percent increase compared to 2015’s 51,643 calls. He said he didn’t yet have specifics on the breakdown of what those calls entailed.

“We saw a surge in the amount of calls for service in the city,” he said.

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Published December 29, 2016

WARREN — A floral delivery worker and a DTE Energy employee are being credited with saving an elderly Warren woman from a house fire near Frazho and Mound on the afternoon of Dec. 15.

Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said firefighters were dispatched at 1:51 p.m. to the 6100 block of Mackersie, east of Mound and just south of Interstate 696, where they learned that a resident had been rescued from the burning home by two civilians.

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Published December 26, 2016

A neighbor across the street alerted Troy firefighters to a house fire on Tewksbury Drive, near Adams Road and south Boulevard, just after 8:15 p.m. Dec. 23.

Firefighters arrived at the large, one-story home with a walk-out basement to find smoke and fire visible from the east end of the home and through the roof of the home, according to reports.

Neighbors told firefighters that the sole resident of the home was not there, Troy Assistant Fire Chief Chuck Riesterer said in a prepared statement.

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Published December 23, 2016

MOUNT CLEMENS — A Macomb County woman was behind bars after she allegedly set fire to a Mount Clemens rental home she once lived in.

Madalyn Marie Soulliere, 43, is charged with first-degree arson, a life felony. She was arraigned in 41-B District Court in Mount Clemens on Dec. 22.

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Published December 22, 2016

A fire erupted at the top of the 555 Building on Woodward Avenue Dec. 22.

According to Birmingham Assistant Fire Chief John Donohue, the blaze was reported at 10:15 a.m. Since the fire was at the top of the high-rise, the flames and smoke could reportedly be seen blocks away.

“The fire was on the 14th floor, extending to the 15th,” Donahue told reporters at the scene. “At this time the fire is under investigation. It is unknown if the fire started at the exterior or the interior.”

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Published December 21, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — St. Clair Shores’ first female firefighter has just reached another milestone — Fire Inspector of the Year.

Fire Marshal M. Bodnar, one of two women currently on the St. Clair Shores Fire Department, was named Fire Inspector of the Year by the Oakland Macomb Fire Prevention Society Dec. 2. 

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Published December 20, 2016

Freshly cut trees, festive decorations and home-baked treats are all mainstays of the holidays, but they also present a fire risk, quickly turning a happy holiday into a hazardous one.

The problem is, there’s no way to tell when a fire will strike.

“No one ever thinks it will happen to them — until it does,” Jim Pauley, National Fire Protection Association president and CEO, said in a statement.

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Published December 20, 2016

HAZEL PARK — What at first seemed to be a house fire caused by space heaters now appears to be a case of overloaded circuits due to stealing electricity from a DTE power box.

The fire occurred around noon on Dec. 10 in the 35000 block of Harding Street in Hazel Park. The building is a one-story bungalow, about 900 square feet.

The fire started in the attic but was swiftly contained by Hazel Park firefighters and automatic mutual aid from Ferndale and Madison Heights.

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Published December 19, 2016

Firefighters fought two car fires within a 26-hour period on the second tier of a parking deck at Somerset Collection North Dec. 17 and 18, two of the busiest shopping days of the year.

Troy Fire Chief Dave Roberts said the blazes, which occurred just after 2 p.m. Dec. 17 and just after 4:30 p.m. Dec. 18, caused major delays in traffic going into and out of the mall.

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Published December 14, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The number of full-time firefighters in Macomb Township is about to triple.

During a Dec. 7 Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting, Fire Chief Robert Phillips got the go-ahead to extend employment offers for 11 full-time firefighting positions.

It is the first wave of full-time hires after a committee recommended in June to recruit more personnel to the department.

At that time, the department had seven full-time staff, including a deputy 2nd chief, and 48 paid on-call and auxiliary positions.

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Published December 14, 2016

Firefighters responded to two incidents within seven hours Dec. 13.

Firefighters were called to a building fire on Elliott Street, near John R and 14 Mile roads, just after 8:45 a.m. Dec. 13 to find a fire in a filter unit in the back of a large, 1 ½-story industrial building.

According to reports, firefighters checked the inside of the building, determined that the fire had not spread, contained the fire to the filter unit and extinguished it.

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Published December 14, 2016

ST. CLAIR SHORES — City Council voted to buy a new ambulance for the Fire Department Nov. 21, helping to fill a gap made by a vehicle that has spent a lot of time in the repair shop. 

Fire Chief George Morehouse said the department looked at rebuilding an ambulance on a new chassis or a full replacement, but found that only heavy-duty chassis that are larger than what the city needs would fit the current ambulance box.

“There’s still a limited amount of chassis available even for the remount,” he said. 

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Published December 13, 2016

ROCHESTER HILLS — Although the homeowner escaped unhurt, two of her pet dogs died and a third dog was injured in a 7 p.m. Dec. 10 house fire in the 3000 block of Salem Drive, near Dutton and Adams roads.

“The fire started in the foyer,” Rochester Hills Fire Chief Sean Canto said. “When the woman opened the door to go outside, one dog ran out, but the other two didn’t follow.”

The fire spread to the living room and hallways in the one-story home, Canto said, and at one point, it spread to an outside area near the front door.

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Published December 13, 2016

MADISON HEIGHTS — A group of kids got to spend an evening with the people who protect them during a special holiday event arranged by the Madison Heights Goodfellows Dec. 1.

The Goodfellows, whose motto is “No child without a Christmas,” held its Shop with a Hero event at the Meijer store on 13 Mile Road, between John R and Dequindre roads. About 15 children were chosen based on economic need. Each received a $100 gift card provided by Meijer. Meijer has supported the annual event since 2005.

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Published December 9, 2016

WARREN — With the calendar closing in on the holiday season, the Alleman family lost their home and many of their belongings in a house fire Dec. 1 on Arsenal, near 12 Mile and Van Dyke. 

Warren Fire Commissioner Wilburt “Skip” McAdams said firefighters were dispatched to the single-story ranch home at 2:56 p.m. after a passerby observed a fire in the garage. A 3-year-old girl was reportedly in the home with her grandmother at the time, while her parents were working and her 7-year-old brother was at school. 

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Published December 8, 2016

A Troy family returned to their second-floor Charter Square apartment, near Big Beaver and Livernois, at 8 p.m. Dec. 7 after going out to dinner to find their apartment on fire.

Fire officials said a man had been cooking on his electric stove top when the power went out. He told firefighters he turned the stove off and took his family out to dinner. While they were gone, the power was restored.

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Published December 6, 2016

C&G Newspapers

MACOMB COUNTY — Public safety officials announced that Smart911 is now available to residents for free to provide key information to 911 dispatchers and first responders during an emergency, according to a press release from South East Regional Emergency Services Authority Executive Director Cherie Bartram Nov. 29.

According to the Smart911 website, people can create profiles with key information about members of their household that would help in the event of an emergency, whether the call is from the home or any mobile phone.

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Published December 2, 2016

CENTER LINE — Don’t call Rob Thornton a hero.

That word, he said, is reserved for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day.

But just after 4 p.m. Nov. 23, it surely was Thornton in exactly the right place at exactly the right time, stepping into extreme danger between the downed high-voltage wires in the rain, climbing onto that burning pickup truck and pulling a 79-year-old woman to safety.

He said he would have pulled the man out, too, if he had maybe just 10 more seconds.

Sadly, he did not.

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Published November 30, 2016

Fire officials are investigating what caused a home to erupt into flames Wednesday morning on a quiet residential street.

No one was injured at the scene and no one lived in the house at 705 Whitcomb Ave.

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