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Posted on Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 12:22 p.m.

Ann Arbor home burns after garage fire spreads

By Kyle Feldscher

A fire that caused half of a garage roof to collapse Friday before spreading to the rest of a two-story home in northwest Ann Arbor resulted in a total loss, but no injuries.

Ann Arbor firefighters were dispatched to the home at 9:41 a.m. at the corner of Riverwood Drive and Timber Trail, northwest of downtown Ann Arbor, after a garage fire was reported, according to assistant chief Steve Lowe.

While on their way to the scene, firefighters were able to see smoke coming from the home from miles away, Lowe said.

Upon arrival, firefighters discovered half of the house’s garage had collapsed, while flames were coming from the first-floor windows and spreading to the second floor, Lowe said.

Lowe said at least one person was in the home when the fire began, but no one who lived at the home was injured.

“We had to knock the fire down in order to search for occupants,” Lowe said. “We didn’t go in through the garage because it had collapsed, so we went in through the front and rear of the home to search.”

Lowe said he wasn’t sure if the homeowner or a neighbor had called authorities to report the fire.

Smoke billowed from the area Friday morning and was visible from downtown Ann Arbor, making it difficult to even see the entire home for long periods of time.

Firefighters sprayed water at the collapsed portion of the garage, where most of the flames were still visible, until about 10:30 a.m. when the majority of flames had been extinguished.

The fire burned hot enough to melt siding off of the home, stripping it from some portions of the house and leaving melted remains on the front of the home.

A white Ford Taurus sat in the driveway of the home with the hood of the car opened and the engine area burned out.

It’s unknown what started the fire and investigators from the Ann Arbor Fire Department were arriving on scene at about 10:45 a.m. Friday.

Lowe said the cause of the fire wouldn’t be known until the investigation is finished.

Firefighters were sawing into the attic of the home to make sure all embers were extinguished at about 11 a.m. Friday. Crews were going through the home and spraying the last few flames that were visible when some of the other departments who were called to assist began leaving the scene.

The residents of the home watched their home burn while standing across Timber Trail from their house. They declined to comment for this story.

The Ann Arbor Fire Department called for mutual aid while on the way to the home. Crews from the Pittsfield Township Public Safety Department, Ypsilanti Fire Department, Ypsilanti Township Fire Department and Ann Arbor Police Department all responded to the scene. Huron Valley Ambulance service also responded to the fire.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Ann English

Sun, Nov 13, 2011 : 12:45 a.m.

I'm glad Ed provided a map for the report he wrote about this, for I thought at first that it was in a subdivision off Zeeb Road, just north of Huron River Drive. Then I thought it was in an affluent subdivision off Newport Road, accessible via White Oak Drive. But the Google Earth map showed that it's in a subdivision I had no idea existed, not far at all from Skyline High School. It's entirely possible that Skyline High School students live in that subdivision.


Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 9:25 a.m.

Couple of things.... 1) Pittsfield's Tower 2 is a TOWER or a Truck not a lift. 2) In one of the pictures you mention that Ypsilanti firefighters are resting, actually they are the RIT Team (Rapid Intervention Team) that is geared up complete with SCBA and equipment and ready to role at a seconds notice should a firefighter get into trouble.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 9:34 p.m.

So sad. Does the family need anything? Is there anything the community can do to help? I can't imagine losing everything.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 8 p.m.

Hey where is A2's Tower truck?


Sat, Nov 12, 2011 : 12:19 a.m.

its broken!!!!


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 8:57 p.m.

Good thing Pittsfield had their tower. AA was probably out of service. One house, four agencies...hmmm good thing it wasn't a bigger fire. AA can't staff enough of their own trucks.


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 8:46 p.m.

Probably don't need a tower for a 2 floor single residence..


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:49 p.m.


Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 6:26 p.m.

I thought so.

Craig Lounsbury

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:43 p.m.

"The fire burned hot enough to melt aluminum siding off of the home, stripping it from some portions of the house and leaving melted remains on the front of the home." was that aluminum siding or vinyl siding?


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 6:48 p.m.

IF not to the accuracy of the report then at least to just how hot the fire may have been. It does not take nearly as much heat to melt vinyl as it does Aluminum. Since the material was added in an attempt to describe how hot the fire was I'd say pretty important. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 6:32 p.m.

What difference does it make?

Marilyn Wilkie

Fri, Nov 11, 2011 : 5:34 p.m.

I'm very sorry for the occupants of the home but glad they are safe. Good reporting Kyle and Joseph.