Missing Wayne-Westland firefighter found dead after fire at strip mall

Firefighter found dead in Westland strip mall fire debris identified as 29-yea-old Brian Woehlke of Dearborn

By Halston Herrera - Digital news editor
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WESTLAND, Mich. - A firefighter who went missing Wednesday morning while battling a blaze at a strip mall in Westland has been found dead.

Brian Woehlke, 29, went missing in the fire at about 9:30 a.m. after a mayday call was heard.

His body was later found in the debris. He had been with the Wayne-Westland Fire Department for 10 months.

Woehlke is the first firefighter to die in the line of duty in the Wayne-Westland Fire Departments' 47-year history.  

He was a Dearborn resident, married and a father.

Statement from Westland Mayor William Wild:

"I am deeply saddened by the tragic loss of one of our Westland firefighters who died in the line of duty this morning. He dedicated his life to protecting the residents of Wayne and Westland and this is a terrible loss for the firefighter's family and our entire community. This tragedy is a reminder to us all of the sacrifice that firefighters make along with their family and friends every single day.  "Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends, as well as the first responders of the Wayne-Westland Fire Department, who are mourning the loss of  fellow firefighter, Brian Woehlke.  Woehlke, 29, a Dearborn resident who was married and the father of one, had been a member of the Wayne-Westland Fire Department for ten (10) months. We are forever appreciative for the brave men and women of the Wayne-Westland Fire Department who put their lives on the line every day." 

The fire started in a strip mall on the 6500 block of North Wayne Road. Two businesses inside the mall, the Electric Stick and Marvaso's, are total losses.

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