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No One Home During Monday Morning House Fire

The fire began in the rear of a home on the corner of Lincoln and Clark, just outside of downtown Birmingham, around 9 a.m. Monday. The cause is still unknown.

No one was injured — in fact, no one was home — during an early-morning house fire on Lincoln Street Monday morning.

According to Capt. John Donohue of the Birmingham Fire Department, the fire occurred at a home at the corner of East Lincoln and Clark around 8:45 a.m. Monday. Donohue said neighbors calling 911 told firefighters flames were erupting from the rear of the house.

Firefighters from Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and Royal Oak responded to the fire, though he said Birmingham firefighters were able to extinguish the bulk of the fire before other departments arrived 15 minutes later.

Donohue said the house was empty at the time of the fire and while most of the damage was contained to the rear of the house, the rest of the home did suffer smoke damage. Donohue said to his knowledge, there were no pets in the house at the time.

"The guys did an outstanding job," Donohue said of the firefighters from three departments.

According to Donohue, Fire Marshal Lyal Bigger continues to investigate the cause of the blaze.

Michael Anderson November 21, 2012 at 01:51 AM
Firefighters trying to justify a need for their manpower numbers, once again. It takes THREE departments to extinguish a small house fire now? Not only that, but one that took only 15 minutes to put out? And I love how Capt. Donohue commended the "outstanding job" the firefighters did from the other departments. Sounds to me like all they did was needlessly respond lights and sirens to another jurisdiction and endanger the lives of other drivers while doing so. Oh, and who was protecting the response areas of the stations that responded from Blm Twp and RO? Capt. Donohue, if your department can't handle a small dwelling fire on its own, one that takes just 15 minutes to bring under control and extinguish, maybe you should send your personnel to train with the Troy Fire Department. They're 90% volunteer and have one of the highest ratings in the state. And I can guarantee, they wouldn't feel the need to call for mutual aid from 2 other cities to put out something that appears to be a little larger than a dumpster fire.
Racer Boy November 22, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Who would have called in all that additional help and why, I wonder???
Amanda Wilson November 26, 2012 at 08:56 AM
Too much time on their hands. These are the suburbs, not the "ghetto's" of Detroit or Flint.
theguardian December 02, 2012 at 07:04 AM
The mutual aid is automatic for that type of incident. Everything that's requested is automatic and pre-planned when certain incidents go out. Other cities come in to help JUST AS BIRMINGHAM goes out to other cities to assist them. Every city in the county, and most cities in the state are a part of this MABAS system. Troy doesn't need to call for additional help because they have 180 firefighters HOWEVER, If there is even a report of a possible, unconfirmed fire in a building, Troy dispatches 3 stations minimum, which includes a minimum of 2-3 engines, 2 ladders, a rescue, and an air tender, again, at minimum *Which is a heck of a lot more than Birmingham had on that scene..* If Troy weren't so big, these items would have to come from out of town. As for covering Bloomfield/Royal oak, sending 1 crew out of a multiple crew, multiple station department isn't going to hurt anything, however IF needed, guess what, they'd be covered by somebody else in the mutual aid system. I'm not sure what you're complaining about. If your house or family was in danger would you rather have more help on the way, just in case, or for them to call for help after they realize it's out of control, when it's too late? You don't need to answer, I already know.
Michael Anderson December 02, 2012 at 05:24 PM
theguardian: I am aware of the mutual aid agreement several Oakland County fire departments have with one another but what I wasn't aware of is the "automatic response" you referenced. Especially for a fire that was so easy contained and so quickly. And if the response is truly "automatic" as you say, what took the other departments so long to arrive? Royal Oak has a station at 13 Mile and Woodward yet they couldn't get an engine on the scene of this apparent raging inferno that was taking place roughly a mile and a half from their station in less than 15 minutes? I'm not so sure you have your facts right about the "automatic response" for these types of incidents. On April 3rd, there was house fire on Chambers in Royal Oak. The circumstances were much like this fire - a neighbor saw smoke coming from the rear of the house and called 9-1-1. However, the "automatic response" you state exists for these type of incidents didn't occur for this fire. According to the story in The Patch, only the Royal Oak Fire Department responded and was able to extinguish the fire with only 14 personnel, two engines, two rescues, and one ladder truck. No mention of the "automatic response" by multiple cities you speak of. What am I complaining about? Well, for starters, it'd be nice to know that if I need my city's fire department they'll be available rather than needlessly responding to something slightly larger than a dumpster fire in another jurisdiction. Too much to ask?
theguardian December 06, 2012 at 06:56 AM
They aren't needlessly responding, but anyways... I'm sure you've heard the term "box alarm" somewhere. Most, if not all structure fires are at least a box alarm. When a box is struck, the units assigned to that "box" are sent. This means a ladder from city X, an engine from city Y, an air tender from city Z, for smaller cities. It all varies depending on exactly where the incident occurs. Your example with Royal Oak is a good one actually. That WAS a box alarm, however they had 14 guys, and the equipment they brought is a great number for a structure fire, they have that equipment and don't require anything from outside in that situation. Birmingham however doesn't even have that on staff at any given time due to the size and population of the city. I do understand your concern, however that slightly larger than a dumpster fire is still someones home, and is still dangers to a low number of firefighters. I can also say this. If Royal Oak needs assistance (I won't say where I work, but my agency (neither of the above..) has taken plenty of calls in RO, everybody gets busy now and again) whatever agency is nearest the incident is going to come lights and sirens to your aid. Bham was sent out to assist Madison Heights just recently on a fire. It's guaranteed that if you call 911 weather it's your city or not, people are coming with the same licenses, skill, and equipment. Quite frankly that's more important than the label on the truck, or who's tax dollars are paying for it.

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