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Posted on Tue, Jan 8, 2013 : 10:58 a.m.

Couple flees burning home in Ypsilanti Township

By Kyle Feldscher

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Ypsilanti Township firefighters spread out smoldering debris removed from a room after a house fire on Ohio Avenue in Ypsilanti Township on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Melanie Maxwell I

A couple watching television escaped their burning home in Ypsilanti Township Tuesday morning, but the fire caused extensive damage to the interior and their belongings.

The fire started in one of the home’s bedrooms, located at the front of the house on Ohio Avenue. Ypsilanti Township Fire Capt. Brad Johnson said said the couple was watching TV when the power went out. The two of them looked outside the home to see if they could tell if other homes were affected, and the woman eventually walked toward the bedroom.

Johnson said the woman told him she heard popping noises that sounded electric. When she entered the bedroom, flames were coming from an area near the closet.

“They tried to put it out with water but the fire got too big too quick for them,” he said.

The couple evacuated, but the man wasn’t aware the woman had already got out of the home. Johnson said he went back in and looked for her and was exposed to a lot of heat.

Huron Valley Ambulance spokeswoman Joyce Williams said the couple had not been transported from the scene as of 11:30 a.m. and the call was closed. Johnson confirmed at noon Tuesday the couple declined to be transported.

Johnson said he wouldn’t have given any of his firefighters a choice on whether to be treated if they were exposed to what the couple endured.

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An Ypsilanti Township firefighter tosses smoldering debris out of a window as he works to clear a room after a house fire on Ohio St. in Ypsilanti on Tuesday, Jan. 8.

Melanie Maxwell I

“If one of my firefighters was exposed to what they were, they wouldn’t have a choice,” he said. “They would already be en route to the hospital.”

The home did not appear to be a total loss structurally, Johnson said, but there was a lot of damage to the home’s contents. He said it might be possible to salvage some personal items, but the pile of smoldering household items in the snow on the home’s front lawn was a testament to the fire’s destructive power.

Much of the exterior at the home looked untouched, save for scorch marks near the bedroom window at the front of the home. However, the damage to the interior of the home was clear. Extensive burn damage was visible from the street and smoke continued to come from the home long after the flames were extinguished.

An investigator was the on the way to the home Tuesday morning to determine the official cause of the fire, Johnson said. No firefighters were injured.

The dispatch time was 9:44 a.m., Williams said. Johnson said it took approximately 30 minutes to extinguish the flames and firefighters were working on putting out hot spots and clearing the scene.

The man and woman declined to be taken in by the American Red Cross and plan to stay with family in the area, Johnson said.

It was the second major fire in two days in Ypsilanti Township. Monday, a blaze caused extensive damage to the Schooner Cove apartment complex, displacing 12 families.

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Ann English

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 12:24 a.m.

The earlier article about the fire. Was it implying that copper and aluminum wire should never be in the same junction box? Or should never be twisted together? That article said that THAT caused the fire, right at the beginning of the article. The junction box probably supplied power for the closet light. I know that different copper wire gauges can be used together in one electrical device, but I've never worked with aluminum wire.

Kyle Feldscher

Wed, Jan 9, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

Ann- As I understand it, the aluminum and copper wires were twisted together and they overheated, causing the fire.


Tue, Jan 8, 2013 : 7:09 p.m.

Busy week for Ypsi township fire dept.


Tue, Jan 8, 2013 : 5:44 p.m.

Very strange to see all of these fires in Ypsi Twp. I hope they are not related in some way!