Man dead after fire at local condominium

By: Nick Mordowanec | C&G Newspapers | Published December 6, 2018

CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A man, 69, died after a fire engulfed his detached Clinton Township condominium.

Clinton Township Fire Chief Tim Duncan said the blaze occurred at about 12:22 a.m. Nov. 29 at 21130 Park Place Lane, located between Groesbeck Highway and Moravian Drive, south of Harrington Street.

Duncan said the fire affected just the one ranch-style unit, which contains a basement. On Dec. 4, he said the investigation was still underway, although the fire is believed to have started in the family room area. He added that there were no signs of any arson or foul play.

The report states that one of the victim’s neighbors noticed thick black smoke emanating from the condo and called 911. Officers from the Clinton Township Police Department were accompanied by an ambulance crew, but getting into the building “was impossible for them due to the amount of smoke.”

Firefighters rushed to the scene approximately six minutes later. Duncan said fire personnel were concerned because there were numerous vehicles in the vicinity, giving cause to others possibly being stuck inside. Officials later learned that the victim enjoyed tinkering with vehicles.

“The neighborhood is a pretty quiet area, so neighbors didn’t know much about him,” Duncan said.

Two crews went inside during the fire; one crew suppressed the fire while the other searched for any signs of life. The victim was found in a space between the family room and kitchen.

The victim was transported to a local hospital. CPR was conducted on the way there, but the man was pronounced deceased shortly thereafter.

An autopsy reportedly showed a large amount of smoke inhalation.

The blaze itself was extinguished in less than 30 minutes, Duncan said, with “considerable damage” to the family room and kitchen areas of the condo. Smoke damage took more of a toll on the unit overall, with an estimated 50 percent of the unit needing to be repaired.

One firefighter was caught in the eye with some unspecified material, but was later medically cleared.