‘I’m trapped in the basement’: Detroit firefighter calls for help when wall collapses

House fire happened on Detroit’s northwest side

Officials with the Detroit Fire Department say a firefighter was trapped for only a minute when a wall collapsed during a house fire.

DETROIT – Officials with the Detroit Fire Department say a firefighter was trapped for only a minute when a wall collapsed during a house fire.

Detroit firefighters responded to a house fire Wednesday (April 27) morning on Curtis and Winthrop streets, located on Detroit’s northwest side.

The source of the flames came from the basement of the house.

An acting sergeant was in the basement searching for the source of the fire. That is when a nearby wall collapsed.

“When he worked his way through, it pinched the door shut and so he he was shut. No door knob on the other side of the door. He’s trapped. He can’t get out,” senior fire chief Joe Haig said.

After calling “mayday,” crews were able to put out the flames and get the sergeant out uninjured.

“Mayday . . . Mayday . . . Engine 30, I’m trapped in the basement . . . I need a line down here,” the sergeant called out over the radio.

But overall, this was a learning experience for the firefighters on the scene.

“He called it out, it’s very tough for a firefighter to call a mayday system. Because it’s like, not a sign of weakness, but kinda is with all these type-a personalities. He called it out, they got a line down there, they got the door open, got him out,” Haig said.

The Detroit Fire Department said no one else was at home and that their arson unit is still investigating what might have sparked this overnight fire.


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About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Elizabeth Washington is a Digital News Editor and has been with Local 4 News since April 2022.