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Posted on Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 7:59 a.m.

Fire damages apartment building near downtown Ann Arbor

By Cindy Heflin

A fire caused about $25,000 damage to a three-story apartment on North Main Street in Ann Arbor Monday night.

Ann Arbor firefighters responded to a report of heavy black smoke coming from the building at 532 N. Main St. at 11:22 p.m. and found fire in a third-floor unit. They brought it under control in about 15 minutes but were on the scene for several hours. All five Ann Arbor fire units went to the fire.

The fire was difficult to extinguish because of the small size of stairs and a hallway in the building, firefighters said in a press release.

The building is owned by Avalon Housing, a nonprofit organization that provides housing for low-income residents.

No one was injured. The Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross found a place for five residents to spend the night, and provided food and clothing to one of them.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Wed, Aug 3, 2011 : 1:08 p.m.

Great job and kudos to AAFD for yet another fine job on containing and putting out the fire before it spread further. As to all those who still think the cuts are a-okay, I wonder if it will be a-okay if it is your property. Quick response time is the key to containing fires -- The council needs to really start taking some hard look at how funds are being distributed -- election time is around the corner. DDA and expensive artwork just doesn't cut it.

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:40 p.m.

Sad, I used to live in that building back in my college days.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 2:38 p.m.

"All five Ann Arbor fire units went to the fire." All five. The total number of units in the city. Under control in 15min. All five units. Total number of units in the city. All five. For a three story apartment building. The fire was difficult to extinguish because of the small size of stairs and a hallway in the building. All five units. Just saying. What's going to happen when there is a REALLY major fire in a 9 story building and the stairs are difficult, and at the same time, there is another 3 story fire on the other side of town? All five Ann Arbor fire units went to the fire. But, we have money for $150K art work. Nuff said.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

Fire departments of neighboring communities assist each other all the time. It's a normal part of operations. The city crews back up the township crews, the townships support the city. Ann Arbor is not an island.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 6:31 p.m.

@mentalNomad-there you go! Priority of resources in tough economic times is questionable by mayor and council. Maybe for a limited time only (what am I, a commercial?!?) the proposed artwork already purchased in addition to this newly funded work of art, how many safety services personnel could have been purchased?


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:09 p.m.

Never mind--I thought you were referring to the infamous urinal statue created by a non-local artist that was commissioned a few years ago. Now I just found about the $150K the city is now budgeting for new artwork. So this is a relevant issue again.


Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Isn't the $150K art work a done deal? I agree it was a bad idea, but I keep hearing people talk about it like that should shape all of the city's decisions. If there is no way to get the art work money back, can we just move on and come up with solutions to these other problems? Or is there any way the city can sell it? I know someone is going to say that no one is going to pay $150K for it. And also, how far would $150K go for the fire department? Would it pay for an additional truck?

Milton Shift

Tue, Aug 2, 2011 : 1:13 p.m.

Thanks to our firefighters for yet another job well done. I have personally witnessed their response to fires and I've been impressed. No wage cuts for those who risk their health and their lives to keep us safe!