Firefighter injured in Monday blaze, family thankful for help

Photo by Ian Kushnir Firefighters were called to a house in the 4600 block of Parkside Boulevard Nov. 16, for a fire that started in the attic. There was no one in the house when it started. The house appears to be a complete loss, but Fire Chief Douglas LaFond said that is up to the insurance company to determine. A firefighter was hospitalized and has since returned to work. Two pets ran away and were later recovered.

Photo by Ian Kushnir
Firefighters were called to a house in the 4600 block of Parkside Boulevard Nov. 16, for a fire that started in the attic. There was no one in the house when it started. The house appears to be a complete loss, but Fire Chief Douglas LaFond said that is up to the insurance company to determine. A firefighter was hospitalized and has since returned to work. Two pets ran away and were later recovered.

By TEREASA NIMS
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK — A firefighter was injured and a family lost their house Nov. 16, when flames ravaged the structure in the 4600 block of Parkside Boulevard.

Fire Chief Douglas LaFond said the firefighter was treated at Beaumont Hospital — Dearborn for carbon monoxide poising and released the next day. He was expected to return to work Friday.

“The firefighters took off their masks after the fire and he just got too much,” LaFond said.

Despite losing their valuables, the family went to the fire station the day after the fire and thanked firefighters for their efforts and for getting two of their five pets, a cat and dog, out of the house safely. They said they would bring dinner on Dec. 4 to show their appreciation

The family left the house about 6 p.m. Nov. 16, an hour before a fire started in the attic, LaFond said. The owners left for vacation in North Carolina, and after the fire had to come right back. The owners, their son, daughter, her significant other and their two children lived in the house.

LaFond said the faulty issue in the attic which appears to have caused the fire may have been lingering for some time, and it was that moment, at 7:20 p.m., when it went very bad.

Neighbors saw smoke emanating from the house and immediately called 911, and knowing there were animals in the house, they broke open a door to get them out. Two of the dogs and a cat ran away. The two dogs were missing between Monday night and Wednesday.

They’ve been found,” LaFond said Thursday, noting the cat is still missing.

Firefighters found another cat and dog scared in the basement.

“Pets are smart, they get as far away from some and fire as they can,” he said.

“The cat was not happy with the whole situation,” said LaFond, noting that the cat was glued to the firefighter who rescued him.

“We had to pry him off,” he said.

The dog needed some oxygen and then “pepped” right back up. LaFond said the crew carries pet oxygen masks that were donated by an area veterinarian.

LaFond said he’s definitely happy that his department is filled with animal-loving firefighters.

Despite arriving within five minutes of the call, firefighters weren’t able to save the house. LaFond said they always feel bad about that.

(Tereasa Nims can be reached at dstreporter@gmail.com.)