“I lost my clothes. I lost my furniture. I lost my family pictures. I lost my coins. I lost everything I own,” Waldrop said. “I’ll just start fresh,” he added, vowing to persevere.

“I lost my clothes. I lost my furniture. I lost my family pictures. I lost my coins. I lost everything I own,” Waldrop said. “I’ll just start fresh,” he added, vowing to persevere.

Photo by Brian Louwers


No injuries reported in pair of Warren residential fires

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 13, 2019

 Dennis Waldrop sits near the ruins of his home and its destroyed contents March 12, the morning after a fire on Jeannie Court, at the Landmark Estates mobile home park.

Dennis Waldrop sits near the ruins of his home and its destroyed contents March 12, the morning after a fire on Jeannie Court, at the Landmark Estates mobile home park.

It burned to the ground in nine minutes.

Dennis Waldrop, Warren resident

WARREN — Dennis Waldrop sat in the midday sun talking to neighbors, smoking a cigarette down to the filter and drinking Mountain Dew. He was more upbeat than you’d expect for a man who just lost everything.

A fresh plywood barrier stood between Waldrop and the reality of charred wreckage that a little more than 12 hours before was his home of 17 years, filled with his belongings. Nearly everything was left scorched, soaked and ruined in the March 11 fire on Jeannie Court, in the Landmark Estates mobile home park south of Nine Mile Road just east of Dequindre Road.

“I go to the store and I come back, this back room was like, roaring,” Waldrop said. “I had two big fire extinguishers because I thaw a lot of people’s pipes out in here and, you know, do the little odd jobs. I grabbed them and ripped the back door open and all of a sudden it just burst.

“It burned in nine minutes,” Waldrop said. “It burned to the ground in nine minutes.”

A stream of neighbors came walking up the narrow road past the mobile homes, some just a few feet apart, to talk with Waldrop, 62, who said he worked for a conveyor company until he became disabled about 10 years ago. He said people around town, including some of the police, knew him by the nickname “Scrappy” before he got hurt.   

Waldrop said he asked firefighters to save his neighbor’s home next door, knowing his was a total loss. He said he went back inside a few times before they got there and was able to save some tools and a new nail gun.

“I lost my clothes. I lost my furniture. I lost my family pictures. I lost my coins. I lost everything I own,” Waldrop said.

“I’ll just start fresh,” he added, vowing to persevere despite a list of challenges in his life.

“I have no feeling in my left hand. I’m a lefty. They cut that,” he said, describing an old injury. “I’ve got one lung missing from lung cancer. I got MRSA twice. I’m a survivor,” Waldrop said. “My grandma lived to be 96. I’m Scottish. I’ll be around long, and we can survive.”

A 52-year-old resident of the park named Kebo said he witnessed the fire and was there to support his neighbor.

“Everybody in this park loves him,” he said. “This is a total disaster. We do what we gotta do. He’s getting another trailer.”  

Warren Fire Commissioner Skip McAdams said the dispatch call to Jeannie Court came in at 10:48 p.m. and that crews began arriving within minutes. He said the exact origin of the fire remained under investigation, but that it was thought to be accidental. No firefighters were injured.

McAdams said high winds overnight fanned another fire, this one at a house in the 5200 block of Streefkerk Drive, near 14 Mile and Mound roads, early March 10. Firefighters were dispatched after a 911 call at 12:02 a.m. and could reportedly see smoke and flames when they arrived at the scene.

“It was electrical in origin,” McAdams said. “It was fully involved. The fire was aided by the high winds that day, which caused the fire to travel across the rafters. Unfortunately, the wind increased the damage to the home. Apparently a picture window had given out. It allowed it to get oxygen.”

An estimate on the amount of damage at the Streefkerk fire was not available, but McAdams said it did not appear that the home was a complete loss. Again, there were no injuries reported.