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Posted on Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 4:16 p.m.

Officials: Fire causes an estimated $35,000-$50,000 damage to Ann Arbor duplex

By John Counts


Ann Arbor firefighters work to put out a fire at the scene of a fire at 105 Allen Drive on Ann Arbor's westside.

Joseph Tobianski |

A fire that was quickly extinguished caused heavy damage to an Ann Arbor duplex Thursday afternoon, officials said.

The fire was reported around 2:20 p.m. at a two-story duplex at 105 Allen Drive.

"We got here and there was fire coming out of the second-story," said Ann Arbor Fire Department Battalion Chief Robert Vogel.

Fire crews extinguished the blaze in less than 10 minutes.

"This was one of our bread and butters, we call them," Vogel said. "You pop the door. It's right there, you hit it."

The fire was contained to the second story, which sustained the most amount of damage. Soon after the blaze was out, firefighters were pulling an armchair and sofa out a charred window and dropping the ruined furniture from a second-floor patio onto the front lawn of the duplex, where other debris lay.


Firefighters remove damaged furniture from an Ann Arbor duplex that burned Thursday afternoon.

Joseph Tobianski |

The first resulted in heavy smoke and water damage on the first floor. The building's owner, who did not wish to be identified, was at the scene and said the building was not habitable. He was still in the process of contacting the woman who lived in the upper unit and the man who lived in the bottom unit.

No one was home when the fire broke out and there were no injuries. But Vogel said there was "heavy, heavy damage," which he estimated to be between $35,000 and $50,000.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known, but officials were investigating.

Elizabeth Piranian, who lives next door, said she came home at 2:30 p.m., went inside for a few minutes, and came out to clear some ice from her driveway and saw that fire crews were in front of the neighboring duplex.

"I didn't see any flames, but I saw smoke," she said. "The fire department was already here. They got it under control."

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



Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 3:56 a.m.

Gravelle was ready! If there was a pet critter in there, Gravelle would have gone to the rescue!

Haywood Jablowme

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 3:11 a.m.

No dramatic pet rescues by Gravelle?


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 11:39 p.m.

This is why they need to ban couches from the inside of houses in Ann Arbor as well.

An Arborigine

Fri, Mar 8, 2013 : 1:47 a.m.

especially military-style assault couches, I might add


Thu, Mar 7, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Sounds like a quick response time and great work, AAFD. Hope the tenants and owner get insurance straightened out quickly...