WESTLAND (WWJ/AP) – State police have opened a homicide investigation in the death of a metro Detroit firefighter after investigators determined that arson caused the blaze that killed him.
Lt. Michael Shaw said the Wayne-Westland Fire Department has concluded that someone intentionally started a May 8 fire in a strip mall that burned Marvaso’s Restaurant and the Magic Stick Pool Hall in Westland.
Twenty-nine-year-old Brian Woehlke of Dearborn died in the fire. The married father of one had been on the job about 10 months.
Woehlke’s body was found in the rubble after the roof collapsed in a burned out section of the shopping center. Autopsy results showed Woehlke died of smoke and soot inhalation. He also suffered burns.
Woehlke’s name was added to the Michigan Fallen Heroes memorial wall in Pontiac in September. He was the first firefighter to fall in the line of duty in the fire department’s 47-year history.
Shaw said investigators are seeking the public’s help in catching whoever’s responsible for the blaze.
Anyone with information, including those seeking anonymity, can call investigators at 877-616-4677.
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