Fire displaces family for holidays

Dec. 31, 2016  PLYMOUTH EAGLE.

Plymouth Michigan News



Don Howard

Staff Writer


In spite of the best efforts of two fire departments and 23 paid-on-call firefighters, a Northville home was completely destroyed by fire last week.

The blaze, which was reportedly caused by a space heater operating in the garage, displaced residents and caused major damage.

The fire spread quickly throughout the structure, according to official reports, and ignited a number of fireworks stored in the garage. The brick home located in the upscale Pheasant Hills subdivision north of Eight Mile Road had fire damage throughout the interior according to a restoration company employee working at the boarded-up home.

There were no injuries reported as a result of the fire according to Northville-Plymouth Fire Department Chief Steve Ott who discussed details of the fire at the meeting of the Fire Advisory Board in Plymouth last week.

“Fortunately because there were firefighters at the Northville Fire Station their response to the scene (with a fire engine)…only took 7 minutes,” Ott said in a later interview about the blaze.

According to Ott, the 9-1-1 call reporting the incident at the single family residence at 990 Elmsmere was received at 5:50 p.m. Dec. 15. A total of 33 professional firefighters and paid-on-call firefighters from the Northville City-Plymouth Fire Department and the Novi Fire Department battled the fire in the bitterly cold weather for four and one half hours. The fire was determined as controlled at about 7 p.m.

Ott reported that of the 33 first responders who answered the call, 19 paid-on-call firefighters from the Northville Fire Department were called into service at the scene. He said the aerial ladder truck stored at the Old Village Fire Station on Spring Street in Plymouth was also required to access the two-story home and dispatched into service.

Novi Fire Department, one of 18 member communities in the Western Wayne County Fire Department Mutual Aid Association, responded to the call with a fire engine and four firefighters.

Novi Fire Department located in Oakland County has an automatic reciprocal agreement with Northville when there is a reported structure fire. Protocol dictates Northville city fire officials first call Northville Township Fire Department Dispatch and request the aid of the Novi Fire Department. Contiguously located Northville Township Fire Department was not asked for mutual aid according to Ott because of the automatic aid agreement already in place. Part of Novi also borders the City of Northville.

“We responded with our full structure fire response team. We would only call Northville Township if this had been two-alarm fire,” Ott said.

In this situation, the fire scene was located closer to the Novi Fire Station near Nine Mile and Novi Road than the township fire station on Six Mile Road, another the reason city fire officials did not request aid from Northville Township firefighters, Ott claimed.

According to Northville City Manager Pat Sullivan, Northville would be open to a reciprocal arrangement with Northville Township Fire Department similar to one with the Novi Fire Department located in Oakland County.


Photo: © Don Howard/Associated Newspapers

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