DETROIT (WWJ) – A firefighter fell through the floor while battling a blaze that completely engulfed a home near City Airport on Detroit’s east side.
Fire broke out early Tuesday morning, for a second time, at a home in the 11000 block of Maiden, near I-94 and Connor Street. Firefighters responding to the scene initially had trouble tapping into fire hydrants and were forced to hook up to a hydrant about two blocks away.
Scott Kasinec, a 20-year firefighter, fell through the floor while battling the blaze.
“We were advancing a line inside the building and it collapsed,” Kasinec told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.”My helmet came off and if I didn’t have all of this safety equipment on I probably would have been hurt really bad, but I’m good.”
Somehow, Kasinec landed on his feet and after being rescued by his cohorts, quickly got back to work fighting the flames.
“First they threw a line down and I tried climbing up the line. Then, they went and got a Dutchtown ladder and I climbed up that,” he said.
Shortly after his fall, all firefighters were called out of the house for safety reasons. Kasinec was initially hesitant to be checked out by doctors, saying the city hasn’t paid his medical bills as they should.
“There’s reasons that I’m not going to the doctor and the city’s not paying the bills, is what it is,” he said. “I was sent by the city for therapy, I have $800 worth of bills and they won’t pay them. I injured my knee… fighting fires. It’s a duty-related accident. I’ve been calling my union and the union says they fall on deaf ears… I’ve got to feed my wife and kids, I’ve taken major pay cuts and I can’t afford it.”
Kasinec eventually ended up going to the hospital with minor injuries.
Officials say the home was recently occupied, but was vacated Monday night. Firefighters were first called to the home around 3 a.m. Tuesday, and then again about three hours later. Other circumstances surrounding the fire remain unclear.
A woman who did not want to be named said she talked to the homeowner, who thinks the fire might have been set in retaliation.
“Well, when I talked to her on the phone this morning, she said that her nephew was probably mad at her because she’s moving back into her house,” she said.
Arson investigators are on the scene.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.