Taylor, Mich. - A 73-year-old woman is dead following a fire at a trailer home in Taylor.
--A view from Sky 4 of the fire that claimed one life
Fire officials tell Local 4 it was a "perfect storm of tragedy" that led to the fire and the woman's death. The victim had just arrived from Alabama late Wednesday night to visit her son at his mobile home in the 26000 block of 4th Street inside Taylor's Robinwood mobile home community. Neighbors say they heard an explosion and screaming sometime after 1 a.m.
"He was screaming my mom, my mom! She's back there!" a neighbor told Local 4. She did not want to be identified.
It appears that the victim's son tried to put the fire out himself, but couldn't. The entire mobile home was quickly destroyed by the fire. Fire officials believe the woman was likely overcome by the heavy smoke. Her body was found in the bedroom where she was sleeping.
Fire investigators say the mobile home did not have working smoke detectors.
The furnace to the home was broken and space heaters were being used to warm the home. Investigators believe the space heater in the victim's bedroom likely ignited bags of clothing to start the fire.
The name of the victim has not yet been released.
Robinwood mobile home community sits just three blocks from Taylor Fire Station II on Ecorse Road. It was closed last year during the city's budget crisis.
The city of Taylor consolidated its fire houses into one, main fire headquarters. A year ago Taylor Fire Chief Bob Tompos told Local 4 that shutting down fire houses like Station II gave him "grave concerns" about firefighter response time. Tompos says Station II trucks would have been just: 45 seconds away from the mobile home that was burning this morning.
City council member John Delo calls not having Station II not open "Criminal." Delo says members of city council took the mayor to court last year to force him to accept a federal "Safer Cities" grant. That money has allowed Taylor to call back laid off firefighters, but the fire stations it closed have not been reopened. A meeting on the issue was held Tuesday.
Chief Tompos says Station II must be outfitted with a new emergency notification system to bring it up to compliance. To do so, it would cost the city an extra $8,000 and the city does not have the money. He's hoping that today's tragic fire gets the attention of city leaders, community leaders and neighbors. Tompos says even having a fundraiser to help re-open Station II is needed.
Council member Delos says he's already been in touch with an attorney who represents city council to see if the issue about re-opening station houses can be settled in court.
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