Royal Oak firefighters assist with a fire that spread from a dumpster to a new house under construction in the 1200 block of East Lincoln Street, east of Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, March 23.

Royal Oak firefighters assist with a fire that spread from a dumpster to a new house under construction in the 1200 block of East Lincoln Street, east of Woodward Avenue in Birmingham, March 23.

Photos provided by Dennis Walus


Royal Oak firefighters respond to 4 fires in 4 days

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published March 26, 2021

 Royal Oak firefighters respond to a house fire in the 400 block of North Alexander Avenue, near 11 Mile and North Campbell roads, March 21.

Royal Oak firefighters respond to a house fire in the 400 block of North Alexander Avenue, near 11 Mile and North Campbell roads, March 21.

 Royal Oak firefighters battle a blaze in a detached garage in the 4200 block of South Verona Circle, near Greenfield and Normandy roads, March 21.

Royal Oak firefighters battle a blaze in a detached garage in the 4200 block of South Verona Circle, near Greenfield and Normandy roads, March 21.

 The new Engine 10, a 2021 Rosenbauer Avenger that was custom-built to the Fire Department’s specifications, responds to a fire in Royal Oak March 21.

The new Engine 10, a 2021 Rosenbauer Avenger that was custom-built to the Fire Department’s specifications, responds to a fire in Royal Oak March 21.

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ROYAL OAK — Royal Oak firefighters had a busy week.

On March 21, firefighters extinguished two fires in Royal Oak; on March 23, they assisted with a fire in Birmingham; and then less than 12 hours later, they put out a fire in Royal Oak March 24. No injuries were reported in any of the fires.

At approximately 3:56 p.m. March 21, Royal Oak firefighters responded to a two-story home in the 400 block of North Alexander Avenue, near 11 Mile and North Campbell roads.

Royal Oak Assistant Fire Chief Jim Cook said a neighbor initially thought the smoke was from a barbecue, but then the smoke began billowing out of the back of the home.

“We knocked it down pretty quick. There wasn’t a whole lot of extension into the house,” Cook said. “The homeowners weren’t home at the time, just out across the street. How that one started is kind of a mystery.”

He said it might have been an electrical issue, but the investigation did not yield a verified source.

At approximately 7 p.m. March 21, just as they were finishing extinguishing the fire on North Alexander, fire crews were dispatched to the second fire in a detached garage in the 4200 block of South Verona Circle, near Greenfield and Normandy roads.

“We did a pretty good knockdown on it,” Cook said. “There was a fairly significant amount of damage to it.”

He said Fire Marshal Shawn Lambouris had an idea of how the second fire began, but the investigation was still ongoing. 

Shortly before 6 p.m. March 23, while en route to a commercial fire at Primo’s Pizza in Birmingham, dispatch rerouted Royal Oak firefighters to an unrelated dumpster fire about a block away.

Cook said Royal Oak was the first fire department on the scene and discovered that the dumpster fire had spread to a new house under construction in the 1200 block of East Lincoln Street, east of Woodward Avenue in Birmingham.

“We did an initial attack and then Bloomfield Township and Rochester ended up showing up with a ladder truck,” he said. “Our guys had it down pretty quickly.”

At approximately 4 a.m. March 24, Royal Oak firefighters responded to a fire in a detached garage in the area of Fourth Street and Interstate 75. Crews extinguished the blaze before it could spread to the home.

 

New fire engine enters service

The rash of fires allowed for an immediate christening of the Royal Oak Fire Department’s new Engine 10, a 2021 Rosenbauer Avenger. The truck was custom-built to the Fire Department’s specifications.

The vehicle arrived in January; the Fire Department retrofitted it with equipment, shelving and storage for tools; and it went into service March 16, Cook said.

“Our engines are a little older now and we’ve had to start replacing things here and there,” he said. “It’s a super expensive truck, upwards of $750,000. It has a lot more safety features and an all-around camera.”

He added that the hose is now completely enclosed and the top lifts up to keep weather and elements out. Before, he said, the Fire Department kept having to replace canvas coverings.

“The design of the cab is much more roomy. You can move around in there and put on air packs. It gives more elbow room and room to keep medical supplies in the cab cabinetry. It’s a well-designed truck,” Cook said. “A committee looked at several manufacturers. It was a year-plus project.”

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