Man dies in Sterling condo fire

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published September 25, 2019

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An early morning Sept. 25 condo fire claimed the life of a man in Sterling Heights, according to the Sterling Heights Fire Department.

Firefighters were called to a fire after 6:30 a.m. in the 5600 block of Victory Lane, near 17 Mile and Mound roads. A 911 caller reportedly had smelled the smoke.

According to the Fire Department, a condo next to the caller’s had lots of smoke, and the windows were “hot and blackened.” When firefighters checked out the smoky unit, they saw areas that had holes burned in the floor. 

They said they then evacuated a 69-year-old man from a bedroom — however, they didn’t try to revive him because they concluded that he had been dead for a while.

The authorities are investigating what started the fire, though they were ruling out foul play. They noted a lack of functioning smoke detectors and added that the fire had been burning for “a long time” before the neighbor noticed it.

Fire officials said that smoke detectors should be installed and properly checked throughout the year to make sure they are working. Fire Chief Chris Martin explained why the devices are so important.

“If you don’t have a smoke detector, when the fire starts, if you’re sleeping, you can be overcome by the toxic fumes, carbon monoxide ... and you’re incapacitated,” he said. “That’s why smoke detectors are so important. They think they’ll smell it, and it just doesn’t happen.”

Martin had no damage estimate for the building, but he called it “significant.”

Anyone who has more information about this incident is encouraged to contact the Sterling Heights Fire Department by calling (586) 446-2950.

Call Staff Writer Eric Czarnik at (586) 498-1058.

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