Fire News

Published May 15, 2017

An 84-year-old woman escaped a middle-of-the-night fire that destroyed her home on Little Mack Avenue May 13.

“The neighbor said he saw the fire start at the back of the house and then swept around toward her bedroom,” said Terry Haus, of Chesterfield Township, a friend of the homeowner in the 28000 block of Little Mack Avenue. “She could smell the smoke and could see the flames coming through her window, so she got out of there.”

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Published May 11, 2017

A senior housing unit at Baptist Manor, on West 13 Mile Road, caught fire around 6 p.m. May 10, displacing about 148 people and hospitalizing four due to smoke inhalation.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Farmington Hills Fire Department officials said.

“As we speak, the investigators are out and conducting the investigation for the origin and the cause of it,” Chief Jon Unruh said.

He added that the four hospitalized Baptist Manor residents were taken to Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Beaumont Hospital, Farmington Hills.

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Published May 9, 2017

A detached garage was engulfed in flames in the 27000 block of Van Howe Street, south of Martin Road and east of Gratiot Avenue, when the Roseville Fire Department arrived at the scene around 10 a.m. May 9.

The department, with assistance from the St. Clair Shores Fire Department, was able to knock down the fire with no injuries to firefighters or residents. The fire totally destroyed the garage.

Roseville Fire Department Battalion Chief Scott Bala said May 9 that the fire was “still under investigation.” 

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Published May 8, 2017

At approximately 2:30 a.m. Monday, May 8, the township’s dispatch center received a 911 call alerting first responders to a fire at Pebble Creek Apartments, located near West Utica and Ryan roads.

The fire originated when a man in a first-floor apartment fell asleep on his couch while burning a candle. Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said that the candle fell over and started a portion of the couch on fire.

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Published May 5, 2017

Police arrived just in time to save a resident’s dog from a burning home in the 600 block of St. Charles Court late Wednesday night.

No one was injured in the blaze, including the household pet, Abbie.

Abbie was home alone when police said they received a couple of 911 calls at about 11:46 p.m. from neighbors who were reporting the fire.

Police said that when they arrived at the address north of 11 Mile Road and east of Main Street, they saw that the front of the house was engulfed in flames.

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Published May 3, 2017

C&G Newspapers

Rochester Fire Chief John Cieslik, who has been on the job for 42 years, said fires have drastically changed over the years.

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Published April 28, 2017

Police have arrested the brother of a Sterling Heights teen who died April 28 in an incident that police and firefighters suspect was an arson-caused house fire.

According to a city press release, firefighters from stations 1, 2 and 5 were reportedly deployed to a fire early in the morning in the 42000 block of Bloomingdale Drive, located near 19 Mile and Ryan roads. They learned that a 17-year-old was trapped in a second-floor bedroom above the first-floor fire.

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Published April 26, 2017

Lawmakers have proposed legislation they said aims to track and respond to the health care needs of firefighters. 

U.S. Sen. Gary Peters, D-Michigan, co-sponsored legislation to establish a national registry to monitor cancer diagnoses in firefighters. 

According to the International Association of Fire Fighters, nearly 60 percent of firefighters will die from cancer.

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Published April 26, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — In an unprecedented move, the Shelby Township Fire Department bestowed its 2016 Firefighter of the Year award on two members of the department: Deputy Fire Marshal Duane Staten and firefighter medic Don Burke.

Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said he and his command staff simply could not place one recipient over the other, since both accomplished admirable feats in two completely separate areas.

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Published April 24, 2017

A suspect is in custody and a resident is recovering in the hospital following an early morning fire April 24 at a local apartment complex.

According to Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee, crews were called around 4:59 a.m. to Regal Towers Apartments, 27500 Franklin Road, on a report of a fire.

Menifee said crews arrived at the scene at 5:06 a.m. and were met with smoke and fire on the first floor of the apartment complex.

The fire started in the mailroom, Menifee said.

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Published April 7, 2017

UPDATE: As of April 10, the firefighters have been released from the hospital, where they were kept overnight for observation after the incident. They have not yet returned to work.


Two firefighters are at Detroit Medical Center April 7 after they were shocked while fighting a fire on a sailboat in Jefferson Beach Marina.

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Published April 6, 2017

Employees returned to their jobs at a factory at 1305 Stephenson Road after firefighters extinguished a fire in a dust collector April 5.

Firefighters arrived at Witzenmann, which manufactures automotive components and other products for clients that include John Deere, to find the employees outside the building after the blaze was reported just after 12:30 p.m.

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Published March 29, 2017

ST. CLAIR SHORES — Changes to the latest three-year contract for St. Clair Shores firefighters work to make the city more marketable to new hires in a competitive industry.

The latest contract for all employees of the Fire Department, except the chief, includes a 2 percent wage increase beginning the first pay period of July 2017 and similar increases in July of 2018 and 2019. 

But another change to the contract increases the pension multiplier for the first 25 years of service from 2.0 to 2.25 for employees hired after Jan. 1, 2016.

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Published March 22, 2017

FERNDALE — The City Council approved the purchase of a generator March 13 that will power City Hall and the Ferndale Police Department during power outages.

Council members unanimously approved the purchase of a 200-kilowatt diesel generator with an integrated 400-gallon diesel fuel tank for $153,700 from McNulty Electric. It was the lowest of eight bids that the city received for the project.

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Published March 22, 2017

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — When the historic windstorm hit the region March 8, 800,000 people lost power, including roughly 6,000 Shelby Township residents. While many endured without heat March 8 and 9, falling temperatures March 10 forced many to seek shelter elsewhere.

A handful of Shelby Township residents sought to stay the night at the Shelby Township Community Center on March 10, which functioned as an emergency warming center during the day. Shelby Township officials worked together to accommodate the residents’ needs.

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Published March 22, 2017

WEST BLOOMFIELD — Several recent fires in the township sparked the topic of how important proper safety protocols are, West Bloomfield Fire Marshal Byron Turnquist said. 

Whether it is changing your smoke alarms regularly, practicing a fire escape plan or putting out a grease fire, Turnquist said there is a right way to stay safe.

“It is very important ... especially now (with daylight saving time) that people test their smoke alarms to see if they work,” Turnquist said.  

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Published March 17, 2017

ROYAL OAK — Police released the identity of the woman found dead following a house fire earlier this month on the city’s east side.

Marsha Baliff, 72, was a longtime Royal Oak resident and attorney described by neighbors as a friendly, quiet woman who served as an inspiration to the neighborhood with her regular walks despite her obvious frail physical condition.

According to the State Bar of Michigan, Baliff first became an attorney in 1981. Her license was in good standing at the time of her death.

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Published March 16, 2017

DETROIT — Henry Keith Johnson, a 55-year-old Detroit resident, has been charged with five counts of first-degree felony murder following a fire on the city’s east side that authorities have concluded was arson.

On the afternoon of March 8, Detroit firefighters responded to a call at an apartment complex on Whittier Avenue, near Beaconsfield Street. The building held eight apartments with an undetermined number of residents living there.

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Published March 15, 2017

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — The Clinton Township Fire Department will eventually enjoy a new, enhanced truck.

At the Feb. 27 Board of Trustees meeting, the board unanimously approved the purchase of a new ladder truck. Trustee Jenifer “Joie” West was absent.

Clinton Township Fire Chief Mike Phy said four vendors submitted bids — which were opened in January — to replace a 14-year-old ladder truck that’s currently part of the fleet. The truck was budgeted at $1 million, with the truck costing an estimated $972,757.

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Published March 14, 2017

Firefighters extinguished two recent home fires that began in each home’s chimney, state fire officials. No injuries were reported.

The fires were in homes on Quail Run and on Red Fox Trail. Both homes are located near Long Lake and Adams roads.

A house fire in the 2000 block of Quail Run was reported at 5:15 p.m. March 13 by a caller who reported heavy smoke coming from the home’s chimney and a sound similar to a turbine engine, a fire report states.

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