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Posted on Fri, May 10, 2013 : 7:17 p.m.

Fire crews douse 2 separate blazes in Ypsilanti Township

By John Counts

The Ypsilanti Township Fire Department battled two separate blazes Friday, Capt. Larry James said.

The department was first called to a farmhouse divided into apartments in the 7300 block of McKean Road at 9:46 a.m. after receiving reports that a lot of smoke was coming from one of the units.

The fire was contained to the living room and caused an estimated $5,000 in damage, James said. The cause of the fire was a fan.

“The fan motor overheated and caught debris that had been stored in front of it on fire,” James said.

There were no injuries. The elderly woman who lived in the apartment was not home at the time.

The neighbors heard the smoke alarms going off and called 911. Firefighters used foam extinguishers to put it out, which took about seven minutes, James said.

At 2:30 p.m., the department was called to the 800 block of Calder Avenue for a kitchen fire. The woman who lived in the single-family home had just left when the fire broke out, James said. A man cutting her grass noticed the fire and called 911.

The woman had been cooking, which is believed to have been the cause of the fire, James said.

“She left a pot of food on the stove," he added. "She was cooking something with grease and forgot it was there.”

Fire crews had the fire out in about 12 minutes, but remained on scene for about an hour.

The kitchen was destroyed, as well as a nearby bathroom. James estimated the damage to be around $25,000.

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


Ann English

Sat, May 11, 2013 : 10:08 p.m.

"The fan motor overheated..." Apparently the fan was on when it overheated. The fire department didn't specify what kind of fan, but I immediately thought it was a ceiling fan. Possible articles upcoming on fire safety? Box fans, stand fans, ceiling fans; is one kind safer to leave on than another when leaving the house? Are EnergyStar-approved fans safer than others?

John Counts

Sat, May 11, 2013 : 2:47 p.m.

Hi David Cahill: We always ask what the cause or suspected cause of any fire and report it if officials can share it with us. I think it depends more on the actual fire. Sometimes it's readily apparent when fire crews arrive, sometimes the cause isn't so clear. However, some departments do differ in how and when they release information to the public.

David Cahill

Sat, May 11, 2013 : 1:12 p.m.

It is great to see a detailed report of the causes of each fire. All too often, for fires in AA City, the coverage simply says the cause is under investigation., is the difference in reporting due to a difference in what you get from the fire departments?