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Posted on Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 7:50 a.m.

House fire injures 3 Ann Arbor firefighters; father, child jump from roof to safety

By Cindy Heflin

042310_fire_georgetown boulevard.jpg

An Ann Arbor fire inspector photographs a house severely damaged by fire in the 2500 block of Georgetown Boulevard in Ann Arbor this morning.

Lon Horwedel |

A father and his 6-year-old daughter jumped to safety from the roof of a burning house in Ann Arbor early this morning, and three firefighters were injured fighting the blaze. The mother and a 3-year-old boy fled through the front door.

Flames were engulfing the two-story home in the 2500 block of Georgetown Boulevard on the city's north side when Ann Arbor firefighters arrived shortly after receiving a call at 1 a.m., Fire Chief Dominick Lanza said. They were able to bring the fire under control within about an hour and prevented the fire from spreading to houses on either side.

One firefighter was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital for evaluation of a minor arm injury, Lanza said. Two other firefighters were treated at the scene by Huron Valley Ambulance for burns to the face.

The cause of the fire has not been determined. Fire investigators were at the home this morning. It has been declared a total loss.

"The structure is still standing but the majority of the second floor was fairly well consumed," Lanza said. A damage estimate has not been established.

Lanza said a loud noise woke the mother, who then woke up her husband. By that time, the family saw smoke, and the mother and 3-year-old fled out the front door. The father went to wake the 6-year-old, but by that time, heat and smoke were blocking the way to the door, so they went out a bedroom window. Lanza said they had made it off the roof by the time firefighters arrived.

All six Ann Arbor Fire Department units fought the blaze with 19 firefighters on the scene, Lanza said. The Washtenaw County Red Cross brought beverages to the scene for the firefighters.

This story will be updated.

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Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 9:03 p.m.

@SRT 407 Was wondering if you knew how much an entry level Firefighter earns in Ann Arbor?


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 11:15 a.m.

@BSNEMT-P For your information I said nothing negative of Huron Valley Ambulance. Get your facts correct before you decided to be critical of someone. I wrote the community can't depend just on Huron Valley for all it's EMS needs. you know clearly that when FD is dispatched their are times paramedics need assistance with particular emergency situations. I was implying with less firefighters available there may be times when you need assistance, but due to a lack of man power the FD may not be there to assist you at that moment of need. If trucks are tied up because of one house fire and you need assistance for a particular emergency two medics can't handle by themselves you might be in a bind depending on location and where your mutual aid may have to travel from to provide assistance. The point of the comment was many people in this area think Huron Valley can be a substitute for less firefighters on the street and don't understand the relationship of sometimes needing both FD and EMS on the same call. You attack me for making a point with out clearly understanding the conversation. Instead you chose to take a disscussion personally and you missed the point. For the record again I was saying nothing critica about Huron Valley EMS. You also should know emergency service work is different in every part of the country. You make light of my 5 years of service as if you have a clue of what I have seen or been apart of in that time. Time served doesn't represent all that one has had to deal with in this line of work. Have you had to wear a bulletproof vest at work? Have you been shot at while working a code or administering care? I have in know way seen everything, but I have been around the block enough to make a accurate asessment. Thank you for your uninformed response.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 9:55 a.m.

@Talker Pittsfield has 3 Fire stations and they are not the only dept who would be responding to help Ann Arbor if need be.


Mon, Apr 26, 2010 : 9:50 a.m.

@talker fortunate for us the hotels in Ann Arbor have sprinkler systems in them designed to put out fires and allow time for patrons to escape


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 9:01 p.m.

@SRT407--Way to go keeping up the good working relationship that HVA has had for almost 30 years with AAFD, which by my claculations is about six times longer than you've been in the field. Yes, it's tragic that the fire department is understaffed and continues to face budgetary cuts and funding issues. But saying things like that about the professional men and women, whom I'm sure you work alongside on-scene daily, does nothing to solve your problem; if anything, it creates a situation where you risk losing the support of the several hundred road paramedics who, yes, not only rely on you for support, but also are there to help YOU in the event that something goes terribly wrong on a fire scene and you find yourself in need of medical intervention. Please consider that before you go running your mouth in a public forum.


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 12:26 a.m.

My family moved to that house when it was first built in 1965. I was 13 years old and there was no lawn and no trees. A few years later, George Romney walked through Orchard Hills, campaigning. My parents moved from this house to Glacier Hills in 2004. A lot of their memories went up in smoke, including a porch on the back my dad built, the landscaping they installed, the kitchen they renovated. From the street, they watched the end of the firefighters' efforts on Friday morning. 39 years of memories. I am so glad the family living there got out safely. As for fire station staffing, we are wrestling with identical issues here in California. So many needs. Not enough money.


Sun, Apr 25, 2010 : 12:22 a.m.

My family moved to that house when it was first built in 1965. I was 13 years old and there was no lawn and no trees. A few years later, George Romney walked through Orchard Hills, campaigning. My parents moved from this house to Glacier Hills in 2004. A lot of their memories went up in smoke, including a porch on the back my dad built, the landscaping they installed, the kitchen they renovated. From the street, they watched the end of the firefighters' efforts on Friday morning. 39 years of memories. I am so glad the family living there got out safely. As for fire station staffing, we are wrestling with identical issues here in California. So many needs. Not enough money.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 6:39 p.m.

It's amazing to read the same comments over and over with apparently no learning taking place..EVER!! Yes AAFD is understaffed, as are Ypsi City and Ypsi Township. No, combining doesn't make the understaffing go away. Yes we love what we do. Yes we like to make as much money as we can like any other human cept maybe Mother Theresa. Yes we have great benefits. No we don't want to lose them. We were compensated by the local governments with contracts instead of personnel for the last twenty years. I make $ 24 dollars an hour. Is that too much? I should have been a plumber, $ 75 an hour or one of hundreds of jobs that pay more than that hourly. Stop the whining people, your panties are getting all bunched up. Oops, gotta go back to work, there's ice cream left to eat before the ballgame comes on.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 2:07 p.m.

In the message above, I wasn't clear near the beginning. When I wrote that some students, staff, and faculty are Ann Arbor residents anyway, I meant that these people are counted as legal residents of Ann Arbor.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 2:04 p.m.

Another error is Google maps of Ann Arbor exclude a cul-du-sac off Bunker Hill. Errors are in other locations, too. Our grown daughter's location in another state is shown incorrectly. Since the Ann Arbor Fire Department is here for the U. of M. students, staff, and faculty (yes, some are local residents), we need to ask if the U. of M. pays enough toward fire department costs. A campus station not affiliated with the AAPD isn't the answer, IMHO, because effects of the campus stretch out into Ann Arbor and other communities. Even though the U. of M. pays fees instead of taxes to the city, we need to re-evaluate the amount as the campus encroaches more onto formerly taxed properties. Here's one misuse of Ann Arbor money IMHO and I haven't heard about any legal investigations that may lead to getting some money returned to the city. A number of years ago there was a city manager named Neal (?) Berlin. I think he was here no more than six years, yet he retired with a pension based on a total career. He presented written changes in the pension distribution system to City Council and convinced them it was the right plan for the city. Under the plan, he could and did retire from the city and move away. At the time there were also generous buyouts for people who could get full pensions earlier than expected. The idea that new employees would earn less and cost the city less doesn't pan out as long as the city needs to replace these personnel and pay the new employees plus the pensions to retirees who would have stayed in their job without pension offers hard to refuse. I have heard there may be legal loopholes in the provisions for paying a city manager a full pension after six years of work. With all the money City Council spends on things way down on the list of priorities for some Ann Arborites and nowhere on the list for others, surely they could afford to pay a lawyer to read the provision and determine if it meets legal standards. It's possible that people at the U. of M. law school would be willing to review it. But wait, do we have a city council that's more interested in preserving money for art not produced in Ann Arbor and planning passenger rail service for a city where many residents won't even ride buses that drop them off near where they work. We need more firefighters and we need to pay them adequately. If someone is severely injured or dies because we lack enough protection, it would be a tragedy and any ensuing litigation could cost the city more than providing protection now.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 12:53 p.m.

Also regarding the accuracy of the google map (with the fire story), the label 'Thurston' is smack dab over Domino's Farms. So glad the family got out okay, but so sad for their loss and trauma.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 12:24 p.m.

After reading all your comments on this fire, the only ones offering anything truly constructive were from Larry Works and they bear repeating: a) have a fire escape plan? b) practice it with the family? c) check their smoke detector batteries on a regular basis? d) and, regularly inspect their homes for fire hazards (ie. clothes dryer vent line for lint, proper storage of flammable chemicals, proper BBQ propane precautions, etc.)? Your best prevention of a fire starts with you.

Wystan Stevens

Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 6:57 a.m.

That map is rather peculiar: it has moved the location of the Plymouth/Green shopping center 180 degrees. I wonder what a Google map of Georgetown Mall would look like?


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 6:55 a.m.

@prinzsbus - just shows you how different people read things differently; I was wondering if was a shill for Pat Lesko and her political views, particularly the ones associated with the Fire Fighters' Union. Also, City Council has not approved the budget so the cuts are not a done deal. When a large budget needs to be cut by a large amount people are, unfortunately, the obvious choice as they are the costliest parts of just about any budget.


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 2:08 a.m.

Here something to think about. What if a motel or hotel called for the fire department, whether there was a fire in a room or smoke of unknown origin or any other reason? What if there was a fire in a laboratory and firefighters were called? What if a freight train derailed and fluid of unknown origin spilled out? That wouldn't leave many firefighters to be available for calls from Ann Arborites. Over the years, I have been at a hotel and a motel where alarms went off and firefighters arrived. Many years ago, at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Toronto, fire alarms went off because smoke was detected in a business room in the middle of the night. It turned out that an employee had sneaked into that room for a cigarette, but that wasn't known when we heard alarms, walked down several flights of stairs and watched many fire engines arrive. Also, we were at a Boston area motel when alarms went off. It was a malfunction in the alarm system, but it still required the attention of many firefighters. These thoughts coupled with the knowledge of how few firefighters we have, solidifies my opposition to a new hotel and convention center on the site of the library parking lot (which is going to be replaced by an underground parking lot). With the firefighting staff Ann Arbor has now, we don't have the capacity to bring in more visitors throughout the year. Even now, football Saturdays, art fair, student move in days, and graduation weekend are times when the city has a huge boost in the number of people in town. Whoever calls for help first gets the local men and women to help. The rest of us have to hope we don't have to wait for a fire truck to arrive here from Dexter, Saline, or Plymouth. Suddenly, I don't feel protected. Do you?


Sat, Apr 24, 2010 : 12:48 a.m.

I'll respond to several items. 1. Georgetown Blvd. goes north into the Orchard Hills subdivision from Plymouth Road. The other Georgetown is a neighborhood/subdivision that spanning Eisenhower from South Industrial to (I think) almost where Eisenhower flows into Packard as Packard turns due east. 2. Even people who have a calling need money to pay the bills. I don't know if Ann Arbor has a residency requirement for firefighters, but it seems to me that firefighters and police officers should earn enough to be able to live in the area. 3. I'm also glad the family got out safely. I live in the neighborhood and the house is a shocking site, showing the ferocity of the fire. 4. I agree that Ann Arbor's spending priorities, as endorsed by City Council sometimes doesn't represent the priorities of most residents. 5. Maybe the Pittsfield fire truck came to the rescue in a situation when Ann Arbor firefighters were working on other emergencies, but where's the back-up there if another emergency had occurred. I purposely typed in fire truck instead of fire trucks. I'd be surprised if Pittsfield Township had more than one or two trucks. Do they have one station? I know there' s Pittsfield Township complex on Michigan Ave. at Platt Road and that there's a police station there. Is there a fire station there, too? What city or township is the fire station on Ellsworth near Carpenter (near Meijers) for? My point is that the surrounding areas have lean staffs, too. They may not be available to help Ann Arborites when needed. The other part of other units helping Ann Arbor is that one or more Ann Arbor trucks could be helping a neighboring community when there are emergencies here. I'm assuming that any agreement we have for getting help from others is a mutual agreement. I think a lot of us will stop using the drying cycle on our dishwashers and will no longer go to bed after turning on the dishwasher.

Larry Works

Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 7:46 p.m.

Wondering, how many people who read the above article; a) have a fire escape plan? b) practice it with the family? c) check their smoke detector batteries on a regular basis? d) and, regularly inspect their homes for fire hazards (ie. clothes dryer vent line for lint, proper storage of flammable chemicals, proper BBQ propane precautions, etc.)? And if you don't, (and that's me!) then make a promise to your family to do it this weekend. It could save your life! Congratulations if you do all of that. And if you do, offer to help your neighbors do it. It's not intrusive, it's showing that you care. The families neighbors have been wonderful today. They've generously opened their hearts, their homes and their garages with standing offers of assistance. Way to go Georgetown!


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 7:46 p.m.

@SRT407 Firefighters in Ann Arbor are an expensive insurance policy and unless they are willing to work for a lot less they have to be willing to trim the fat and utilize their neighboring departments on the few times get busy. No one is naive enough to believe that firefighters don't do this job for the money. True enough they may love what they do, but I would be really surprised if they were willing to do it for a lot less. @loka My sources tell me the votes for the pay cuts were no where near 100%.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 7:39 p.m.

@ SRT407 - I HAVE taken the time to look up the ratings. The changes will be minimal, if any, with the proposed staffing levels after the layoffs. In reference to your comments about your former department,Ii have to wonder if the salaries of those 375 fire fighters were comparable to the salaries of the Ann Arbor fire fighters. If they were, simple mathematics would tell you that Ann Arbors budget would be 3 or 4 times higher than it already is. Also, Ann Arbor responds to 1/10 of the calls that your former department did. You're also wrong about mutual aid not being close enough to Ann Arbor. I personally had a situation during a storm when I needed emergency care and a Pittsfield fire truck showed up to help because all of Ann Arbor's units were tied up on calls. In my opinion it was a timely response.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 6:58 p.m.

Insurance rates will go up. The ISO rating is still affected even if no other firestations close. Staffing on duty each day affects the rating. Less firefighters means less on duty. Ann Arbor won't be able to keep the same staffing now with more layoffs. ISO is also affected by the amount of appartatus available to respond and the equipment and personel on it. Training hours, and water supy ( hydrants) also are added in the mix. Premiums will change with less man power. Look up ISO information online if you want to read it for yourself.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 6:14 p.m.

@julie you were misinformed the layoffs will not cause any station closures. @epengar your right rather there wer 19 or 100 FF's at the fire the outcome would have been the same. @prinzsbus I cant imagine insurance rates going up at all because there will not be any stations closing due to the layoffs, therefore no reduction in response times.The only reduction will be the fat in staffing!


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 5:45 p.m.

FF are normal, hard working people that are very important to the citizens of this, and every city. They are not mythical creatures that care nothing of money but only got into fighting fires because "they heard the calling." But other than that i agree we need more Safety Services. Greenbelt is absurd but it was voted on and past by the absurd citizens here. Not me that's for sure. Park millages? Not oput half the money for parks right now and bump up Safety...I'd be fine with that.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 5:35 p.m.

@ SRT407 - or anyone that knows - Tell me then, what was the Union vote on giving up the 3% months ago? I don't think anyone knows or will say, but according to you it should be 100% right? I mean it isn't about the money, it's about helping the citizens, and your Union brothers & sisters right? 90%? Well, 10% bad apples eventhough you claim there isn't. 80%? I'd be starting to get worried around then. I don't think we'll ever know or get those numbers though.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 5:32 p.m.

No I will not. There is truth to what I said. Its called pride and a solid work ethic in what you believe in. You having the nerve to complain about that is exactly the the attidue this city needs to get rid of. You obviously must disregard those core values.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 5:31 p.m.

I would like to see a map of all the fires over the past year. Two Fatal fires in 6-8 months. Something is wrong and I do not buy the 2012 Armageddon Theory of sudden disasters, Man Turning against man. I do believe Humans are becoming more violent, selfish and antisocial and sociopaths.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 4:55 p.m.

407 I agree with most of everything you said. I also agree that the current way the budget is run is not conducive to safety staffing levels. But can we please stop with the whole: "I promise you not a single man or woman wearing an Ann Arbor badge does so for the money. They do it because they had a calling to protect life and property, and have character an integrity to serve." I mean really; Come on.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 4:48 p.m.

I wonder about these dishwashers. I had a spoon with a plastic tip fall onto the heating element during the drying phase causing a permanent burn mark in my tub. I think it is important that you show the map location of fires. I want to know when and where a fire occurs in my neighborhood. Thank god everyone is OK..


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 4:44 p.m.

This city needs to come to a reality check and realize that 6 understaffed units can't adequately protect 90,000 residents. Firefighters respond to all different types of calls based on being strategically located throughout the city. Car wrecks, Cardiac Arrest,Haz- Mat, and a ton of EMS related and false calls. This community can't depend on Huron Valley for all there EMS needs. Firefighters get dispatched on these calls along with the ambulance because there are usually first there and many times the calls involve emergencies paramedics can't handle with two people. Two people can't work a cardiac arrest code, and still get to the hospital without the fire department. So residents toss your argument out the window if you think Huron Valley is the anwser to your prayers. I am not saying the fire department here doesn't have to adapt to hard times,but for god sakes people you and this city council are choking the life out of the very people who sacrafice alot to keep this city safe. The average person has no idea of the commitment it takes to walk in the boots of a firefighter. Being cross trained to handle about every plausible emergency out there is no easy task. Plus countless hours of recertification to keep skils fresh, so that when these men and women step off the rig with the right anwsers to help people, citizens receive the best service possible. Ann Arbor Fire right now can't handle more than one significant emergency at a time. The university and the thousands of students here are accidents waiting to happen that this department cant respond to adequately with 60 plus firefighters. This city needs in my opinion needs 120 firefighters minimum.. The money is there to pay for it if residents of this town cared more about safety than they did of elaborate artsy prodejects and wasteful city coucil spending. People in this town are getting a raw deal and are to blind to realize it until its there house burning down, or loved one in need of help. Ann arbor you need to wake up and do your homework. Research how little public safety you have for what you pay for compared to other cities. I promise you will be shocked. If these cuts happen, I promise your poor Class 4 ISO rating will go up along with your insurance premiums residential and commercial. Start listening to your firefighters and police officers about what the need to serve and protect you. Don't argue that all they want is money. I promise you not a single man or woman wearing an Ann Arbor badge does so for the money. They do it because they had a calling to protect life and property, and have character an integrity to serve. It is about time this city pulled the wool from its eyes and started backing them up.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 4:19 p.m.

First I would like to say I am glad the family made it out safe in this unfortunate situation, and hope the injured firefighters are doing well. I am new to Ann Arbor as of September 09 having moved here because my fiance is based here. I read this site often and must say that the lack of information and knowledge people have about there public safety in a city of this size is scary. I am a 5 year professional Firefighter/EMT-Specialist/ Urban Search & Rescue Technician. I moved here from Georgia, and from a city of the size of Ann Arbor with a firefighting force of 19 stations and 375 line personel. The department also operated on a small budget for a department that size. We ran aproximately 30,000 calls a year, and had a Class 1 rating. That being said you know my background. The fire service from what I have witnessed over the past months here is under staffed to say the lease. This city is playing a game with tax paying citizens lives. Having all 6 units with nothing left to cover 90,000 residents is ridiculos. Foreget mutal aid because none are adequately close enough to repsond appropriately to another life threating emergency that can and will at some point occur when Ann Arbor has structure fires that require a six units there at one emergency. This only happens because all 6 units there were understaffed to begin with having 3 firefighters on the engine and possibly less on the ladder trucks. I will continue in the next post.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 3:06 p.m.

ah, once my dishwasher was set with the dry cycle, the spinning arm came off, landed on the heating mechanism and as it was plastic began to burn once the dry cycle came on, it proceeded to melt the arm and smoke (and was really STINKY). I was upstairs and unaware, the dog alerted me by growling and whining, I didn't smell it until I was halfway down the stairs. I did turn the machine off right away, carefully opened the door and stinky smoke escaped, but no fire thankfully (yet). I no longer use the dry cycle, I just let run the wash, usually it states warm in there long enough to dry them. I am too scared to heat dry them now. I never run appliances unless I am home. I figured the dog probably first heard it when the arm came loose and had it gone much longer could possibly started a fire. I know people that run their dryer and then leave and that doesn't seem very safe! Glad the family got out safe!


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 3:06 p.m.

"My gut tells me one of two things.. 1) the paper has a tight connection with Fraser and will and has not Supported the FF or PO's." I'm gunna need that tin foil please.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 3:01 p.m.

to bunnyabbot: "...however all the recent fires and the recent discussions regarding Emergency service cuts I would hope that the writer of these articles would think to mention it themselves without leaving the commenters to ask so many questions/give answers, journalists seem to be lazy :(" My gut tells me one of two things.. 1) the paper has a tight connection with Fraser and will and has not Supported the FF or PO's. I have never seen an article from showing any support for either FF's or PO's leaving it to the bloggers to let the residents know whats going on or 2) a good majority of AA residents just do not care,at city council meetings few residents come out to support the FF's or PO's until its them or their Family who needs them.. They support brick paved streets water fountains million dollar art work and a Rail System that should not even be talked about during these tough times.. Instead continue to lay off making Michigan the worse state in the USA.. Residents if I am wrong I ask you start attending city meetings I ask you tell them you "DO CARE" about FF n PO's and YOUR SAFETY..and the safety of all that visit AA.. I also ask to write an article explaining to residents about the cuts and how they will be affected both in safety and with insurance rates.. matter of fact I Dare you to, show support for the men and women who protect you your property and your neighbor..


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 2:03 p.m.

"this fire was caused by something in the dishwasher, possibly getting too close to the heating element" I usually set my timer on the dishwasher to wash in the night when I'm sleeping. Scary.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 2 p.m.

The family is okay, but understandably in shock. The news reporters are annoying. There's a way to get story details without being invasive and pushing their "live" cameras in their faces. I wish they would be more respectful of the family during this difficult time. Apparently, this fire was caused by something in the dishwasher, possibly getting too close to the heating element. It does not appear to be foul play. This story and this fire should not be connected with any rise in local arson. For that reason alone, I don't think an address/map should be included. Simply describing the neighborhood/area is enough. Let the family have as much peace as possible. The reporters might have just provided the map because they CAN, and it looks like a more complete story with a google map attached. But they don't have to, and it just makes it worse for the family. We live right across the street. We are so glad the family is okay. The neighbors have all been very helpful. Please leave them alone everyone else.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 1:54 p.m.

Well is it important that there be FF waiting at a firehouse for other calls to come in? I guess it would be if the call was on the complete opposite side of town but I'm ok with all of them being on the scene of the fire. I'd rather they be there backing each other up and making sure everyone is ok.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 1:52 p.m.

I am a PROUD WIFE of a FF.. I have watched the decline for some time. You take how many residents reside in the City, how many people that are employeed in th city how many visit it (shopping/dining etc) that is houses Uof M, has a major Trauma/teaching hospital a federal bldg. and you tell me that 18 FFs is enough and 6 police offices for AA?? Common sense says "NO".. but there are studies that will tell you how many per person. Also insurance rates are measured by police and fire.. It will be interesting to see how many Home/car Owners are unhappy when cuts are made but insurance rates go up..


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 1:13 p.m.

@prinzsbus, I figured the number would be zero, just wanted it verified, I will assume you are a FF or otherwise affiliated with the FD, however all the recent fires and the recent discussions regarding Emergency service cuts I would hope that the writer of these articles would think to mention it themselves without leaving the commenters to ask so many questions/give answers, journalists seem to be lazy :(


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 1:12 p.m.

prinzbus, can you give some evidence to support your claim? How many firefighters did Ann Arbor have 10 years ago? Not just fire department employees but actual firefighters? How do you know? Do other cities of similar size have larger numbers of firefighters? I see a lot of shouting on this site about how Ann Arbor police and fire are understaffed. I'd like to see the evidence. Thanks.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 12:25 p.m.

TO bunnyabbot: to answer your question about how many fire fighters were available for other calls/emergancies in AA... NONE - 0 - zilch...They rely on neighboring cities to help and God forebid those cities are not too busy.. All all the residents of AA should visit every station on a given day and see How short handed the Fire Dept and Police Dept is; also Look at the amount of Fire/Police that AA had 10 years ago- the city has been cutting back slowly so residents did not notice.. Great Job Fire Fighters and for the ones with slight injuries heal fast God Bless.. Again another story on how these men and women risk their lives for someone something that they are not tied too. Yet the city wants to put Fire/Police in more jeopardy by massive layoffs/cuts..


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 12:05 p.m.

I agree.... I would love to see an article taking a look at the fires over the last month or two, compared to prior months? And their locations / suspected causes? And the city's proposed cuts to our fire department? I was talking to a firefighter the other day, and he tells me we are likely to go from 6 trucks to 4, closing a station. And the number of firefighters is already bare-bones compared to a decade ago (and national standards), and now we want to reduce that by a very large number too? I don't like it.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 11:32 a.m.

How is showing where the fire happened on a map intrusive? What about the picture of the actual home in the beginning of the story... is that not intrusive? I would like to see a distribution of the recent fires on a map. It's how trending is studied. Anyway, I can't believe I slept through all this. I live around the corner and had no idea this happened. Glad to hear everyone in the house is ok and wish well to the fire fighters that were injured.

Saline Bob

Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 11:23 a.m.

Why is there always a map provided to show the exact location of these unfortunate events? For gawkers? I don't see any merit in it and I think a general location description should suffice. A map to show where an automobile accident occurred? Yes. To pinpoint the exact location of a home fire seems a bit intrusive.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 10:40 a.m.

Fires like this scare the crap out of me. About a year ago my second neighbor's house (in another state) burned to the ground and the Fire Marshall would never tell me what caused the fire, only that it was "not structural" (It was a brand new development and I had had a small fire under my dishwasher due to faulty wiring and I requested to know if there was a defect caused by the builder that had caused the fire). I hope you will continue to research the story and find out what caused this fire because I always wonder if it was something that could have been prevented (i.e., candles, poorly placed space heaters, etc.) or if the aged, overloaded electrical wiring just self-ignited, or if it could have been arson as somebody suggested, or other reasons.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 10:39 a.m., do you think you could put a map together of all of the recent fires?


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 10:37 a.m.

All six Ann Arbor Fire Department units fought the blaze with 19 firefighters on the scene, Lanza said. leaving how many others for any other calls that may have come in?


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

Hail to our Firefighters for a job well done!


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 9:34 a.m.

I'm very happy to hear that no one was seriously hurt. Still, losing your home with all your stuff in it is terrible. There have been A LOT of fires recently in Ann Arbor - much more than you normally see. If there's an arsonist out there somewhere, I sure hope he/she is caught quickly.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 9:10 a.m.

I was driving near the fire, and stopped because it was so bright and so big. Scary. We could see the firefighters on the second floor, through the windows, carrying flashlights in the smoke. I was worried a family member was still up there. I am so glad everyone is OK.


Fri, Apr 23, 2010 : 8:41 a.m.

Glad that the family got out safely. This should be a good reminder to all to check their smoke detectors and set up an escape plan. Too many fires in the news lately.