Tree on Ford House property catches fire

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published November 19, 2019

 Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Department officers spent more than two hours Nov. 17 putting out a fire that started in a tree on the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House grounds.

Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Department officers spent more than two hours Nov. 17 putting out a fire that started in a tree on the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House grounds.

Photo provided by Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Department

SHORES — The Grosse Pointe Shores Public Safety Department had an exceptionally busy weekend after battling two house fires on Saturday morning and a tree fire Sunday afternoon.

Public Safety Director John Schulte said by email that the department was called to the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House, 1100 Lake Shore Road, at 1:15 p.m. Nov. 17 because a tree was on fire. A 30-foot-tall, hollowed-out tree was burning vigorously and took officers two and a half hours to extinguish it, Schulte said. 

Although the tree looked like it might be dead, the 100-year-old black willow tree actually just had some hollow caverns on the interior, said Clare Pfeiffer, director of communications and engagement at Ford House. 

The 87-acre landscaped estate on Lake St. Clair, which is open to the public for tours and special events, is home to a large number of mature trees. None of the historical structures on the property were damaged by the fire.

Pfeiffer said the tree was located near the water’s edge.

“Luckily, it was (far enough) away from anything that might be worrisome,” she said. “The house was not in danger at all.”

It wasn’t known at press time what caused the fire or whether the tree might be saved.