2 Firefighters Burned During Bogus Rescue Attempt; Arson Suspected

DETROIT (WWJ) – Investigators say arson is the cause of an early morning fire that left two Detroit firefighters hospitalized.

The pair was part of a crew responding to a home on Minock Street, near Joy and Evergreen roads, around 4 a.m. Wednesday.

Detroit Fire Department Deputy Commissioner Dave Fornell said three firefighters entered the home after being told someone was trapped inside. As they were searching the home, there was a flash of flames and two firefighters were injured.

“If a fire burns for a while, it heats up the entire building and all of a sudden it flashes. It’s what we call a flash over,” Fornell told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “In other words, you’re crawling, you can barely see and all of a sudden, everything is orange and everything is 600 degrees.”

The firefighters were both burned — one on the chin and neck and the other on his arms.

“One of the firefighters, the one that was burned on the biceps, he turned around and went back out the way he came — so he actually had to come back through fire,” said Fornell. “Then the other firefighters, if they were near a window, you know, they went out the window which is the quickest way of escaping.”

Both were taken to the hospital for treatment. Fornell said their injuries are relatively minor, first- and second-degree burns.

“Luckily they were not hurt very seriously,” he said. “Their training kicked in and of course their protective clothing kicked in to keep them safe.”

Once the fire was extinguished, officials discovered that no one was actually trapped inside the home.

Investigators were called to the scene to determine a cause of the fire, and if there was any foul play or malicious intent involved. After a few hours, officials determined that some type of accelerant was used to start the fire — ruling the case an arson.

Authorities are now trying to figure out who intentionally started the fire, and why. An investigation is ongoing.

Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest. 

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