WESTLAND (WWJ) – The Westland Fire Department is raising money to help the family of a colleague killed on the job.

Brian Woehlke, 29, was a new addition to the Westland Fire Department, with about 10 months on the job, when he was fighting a fire at the Electric Stick billiard hall turned charity poker hall – in Westland at Wayne Road near Warren Road on Wednesday.

The roof of the building collapsed, possibly crushing him, although an exact cause of death has yet to be determined.

Said Wayne-Westland, Deputy Fire Chief Rob Arbini, “We do train on things, but you just never know. You don’t know what is around the corner, and right now it’s one of those days that it got us. And we’re going to do everything possible to make sure it doesn’t get us again.”

The Westland Fire Department has established a charity fund for Woehlke’s 13-month-old daughter and his wife.

Anyone interested in donating can do so online through PayPal at this link.  Alternatively, you may make a check out to the Westland Firefighters Charity, P.O. Box 851320, Westland, MI 48185 — or drop a check off to Station 1, which is located at the southwest corner of Ford Road and Central City in Westland.

The Department will forward all money to a trust that is going to be set up by the family.

Woehlke is said to be the first firefighter in Westland to die in the line of duty.

The fire remains under investigation.

MORE: Firefighter Dies Battling Strip Mall Blaze


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