Press Release: Residential Structure Fire Fatality


PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release

Fatality at a residential structure fire, 20 April 2013 in Imlay City, MI.

At 9:35 AM on 20 April 2013, Lapeer County Central Dispatch (911) received a call from the manager of an apartment complex in the 500 block of Townsend Court in Imlay City. The manager indicated that while checking on a smoke smell in one particular building, they had entered an apartment to check on the furnace. Upon entering the upstairs apartment, they found the apartment blackened by soot, the room temperature very hot and a person on the floor in the living room area. The caller believed the person to be deceased. Lapeer County 911 dispatchers had the caller start evacuating the entire 16 unit, two story building.FireBIG

Lapeer County Central Dispatch immediately sent Imlay City Police, Imlay City Fire Dept (ICFD), Attica Twp FD and Lapeer County EMS to the address for a structure fire. Imlay Police and fire departments arrived on scene within minutes of the call. First on scene responders found the upstairs apartment very hot, a lot of soot in the air and a deceased male in the living room. It was apparent that a fire had occurred in the apartment, but there were no flames showing on arrival. As the police began their investigation, the FD investigated for any extension of the fire into the attic areas and / or attached apartments. No additional fire was found and the displaced residents were allowed to reenter their apartments.

A medical examiner from the Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept, as well as a State Police Fire Investigator was requested to the scene. Police then identified the victim as Kenneth Dahn, aged 22 of Imlay City. Mr. Dahn lived in the involved two-bedroom apartment. The exact cause of the victim’s death is undetermined at this time, but fire investigators believe inhalation and asphyxiation is a probability.

A preliminary fire investigation indicates there was a kitchen stove fire with a lot of smoke and carbon particles. The fire appears to have burned upwards from the stove top, through the cupboards, across the ceiling and spread out to the living room. It is believed Mr. Dahn may have been sitting on a living room chair, overcome with smoke and carbon monoxide and perished in the living room.

The investigation continues at this time. The fire is being deemed accidental and fire investigators are still trying to figure out the actual time of the fire and secondly, why the fire went out on its own. It is possible the fire used up all the oxygen, then went out on its own due to a lack of oxygen. There were three (3) smoke detectors in the apartment and one of the smoke detectors was sounding on arrival. An additional fire investigator is being requested for next week and some witnesses may be re-interviewed.

“Compared to the loss of a young man’s life, the fire damage was minimal. Kenny Dahn was a good kid who was known to us on the fire dept. His father and grandfather were both Imlay City Firefighters at a time, years ago, so we knew him from the time he was a little boy. This is a little tougher for us when it is someone you know, some tears were shed at our fire station. Words cannot express what Kenny’s family is going through. Our deepest sympathy to the entire Dahn family.” – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves
For any additional information, please contact D/Sgt Jason Parks at the Lapeer Co Sheriff’s Dept, detective division

Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves, 20 April 2013
Contact 810.724.6262

Press Release: Residential Structure Fire, Imlay Township

PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release

Residential structure fire on Wheeling Rd in Imlay Twp

At 1:38 AM on 19 November 2012, Lapeer County Central Dispatch received a 911 call from a Wheeling Rd resident stating that her neighbors’ house was on fire.  The caller told Dispatch that she could see flames coming from everywhere. Dispatch immediately sent Imlay City and Goodland Twp FDs to the scene, along with Lapeer County EMS for fire scene medical standby.

Due to the heavy fog and zero visibility, it took extra time to get on location. EMS A30 arrived on scene within 15 minutes of the call and reported flames through the roof. Imlay City FD arrived at 1:56 AM and also reported a working building fire with flames through the roof and no occupants or vehicles on scene.  It was determined that the homeowners were not at home at the time of the fire.

ICFD Lt Dallas Hainds assumed incident command and immediately called for a 2nd alarm from Mussey Twp (Capac) FD. As fire fighters began a defensive attack on the fire, several small explosions occurred and the electric power line came off the house to the ground. The downed power line hampered firefighter efforts some what until a DTE crew showed up to cut the line. The dense fog also hampered FD tanker trucks bringing water to the fire. As tankers filled at fire hydrants on Graham Rd, they had to travel very slowly to and from the fire scene. A 3rd alarm was requested from Attica Twp FD for manpower and breathing air, refill equipment.

The house and all contents are a total loss as is a tractor and a car in the garage. No damage estimates are available at this time. Early indications are that the fire started near the garage area. Imlay City FD has requested the Michigan State Police Fire Investigation Unit to assist in determining the origin and cause of this fire; this is normal request seeking specialized skills from MSP.

Approximately 40 fire fighters were on scene and approximately 40,000 gallons of water was used. There were no fire related injuries. Fire fighters spent nearly seven hours fighting this fire and two (2) more hours cleaning gear, trucks and hoses.

Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves,

Contact 810.724.6262

Press Release: Industrial Machine Fire

PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release

Powered industrial machine fire on S. Almont Ave in Imlay City, Lapeer County.

At approximately 8:14 AM on 20 April, Lapeer County Central Dispatch received a fire alarm from a pull station at Toyo Seat USA on S. Almont Ave. Toyo Seat is a major manufacturing facility in Imlay City. A subsequent caller reported a machinery fire in a central dust and fume collector inside the building. Per company policy, the entire 127,000 square foot building was evacuated.

Central Dispatch sent Imlay City Fire Dept and Imlay City Police to the scene. Imlay Police reported lots of smoke coming from the building, so Imlay City Fire requested Almont Twp FD for automatic aid. Thinking worst case scenario that this fire could reach the roof area, Attica FD was also called for manpower.

Upon arrival, fire fighters found the entire building evacuated and the manufacturing portion full of thick black smoke. Toyo Seat management and maintenance people were very helpful advising the best entry point to the affected area and which machine was on fire. Most of the fire was in a horizontal plenum that held 12 large industrial filters.  Fire fighters pulled 250’ hose into the building to get to the fire. Once they got the fire under control, they removed all 12 burned filters to the outside. The fire fighters then tried to clear a lot of smoke and odor from the building.

At one point, when the fire dept felt it was safe, the employees were allowed back into a lunch / meeting area of the building to get warmed up and out of the elements.

Initial investigation points to a malfunction or something that allowed an unknown hot object into the filtration system. The fire dept was told this was a fairly new machine / collection system just installed in the past year. The system’s manufacturer is due in this weekend so it is hoped to have more information and fire damage estimates later in the week. Early damage estimates are about $10,000.

Lapeer County EMS stood by the entire time on scene, there were no injuries.

“Fighting this industrial fire and the salvage and overhaul afterwards was a very dirty job. The fire fighter’s gear was covered in soot, dust and black slurry like stuff. It is going to take a lot of effort to get all that gear and equipment cleaned up from this one. They worked their butts off the night before at a barn fire and was right back at it the next morning for another challenging (industrial machine) fire.” – Fire Chief Kip Reaves

Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves, 21 April 2012

Contact 810.724.6262

Press Release: Pole Barn Fire

PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release

Pole barn fire on Brown City Rd in Imlay Twp, Lapeer County

At approximately 4:38 PM on 19 April, Lapeer County Central Dispatch received a 911 call from a homeowner reporting a pole barn fire in the 500 block of Brown City Rd in Imlay Twp. The caller reported seeing flames in the window of their pole barn and that there were fuels in the barn and a propane gas tank in the yard between the caller’s residence and the fire. Central Dispatch sent Imlay City and Goodland Twp fire depts. to the address for the fire. While responding, Fire Lt Charles Boadway could see heavy dark smoke from Graham Rd and requested Almont FD for water tankers / tenders.

Assistant Fire Chief Rick Horton arrived on scene within five (5) minutes of being dispatched and reported a fully involved barn fire with several exposures (nearby property or buildings) and a large propane tank nearby. Fire fighters arrived and two (2) crews began suppression attack on the main fire while one crew was used to cool the propane tank and another crew was tasked to save a small soft sided shed filled with snowmobiles. At one point, the roof collapsed and fire fighters had to shoot water under the roof to get to the seat of the fire. Water shuttle operations was immediately started to bring more water to the fire for suppression efforts. The FD used the new hydrants on Graham Rd for water supply.

“Mid-afternoon on a week day is one of those times when there is usually a lack of fire fighters available. The day shift workers aren’t home yet and those that work an afternoon shift have already left for work. With suppression operations, exposures and a water shuttle going on, we flat ran out of trained fire fighters and called in Mussey Twp (Capac) for manpower. We ended up having nearly 30 fire fighters on scene.” – Fire Chief Kip Reaves

The fire was controlled after a 90 minute battle and the fire was contained to the structure and contents. An adjacent pop up camper, several nearby snowmobiles and the propane tank were unaffected by the fire. Salvage and overhaul operations were conducted to extinguish any hot spots and remove any unburned property.

The barn was a total loss. Most all of the tools, paints, car parts, mowers and power machinery inside was damaged by the fire. Fire damage is estimated to be over $40,000.

The initial investigation by fire officers points to an accidental fire. The homeowner has contacted their insurance agent.

LC- EMS stood by on scene from beginning to end, there were no injuries.

Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves, 21 April 2012

Contact 810.724.6262

Ice Rescue in Imlay Twp

PRESS RELEASE, for immediate release

Ice rescue in Imlay Twp

On 17 February 2012 at 7:56 PM, Lapeer County Central Dispatch received a 911 call from an Imlay Twp residence requesting help for her husband. The caller stated their dog had fallen through the ice in the middle of their pond and her husband, who was trying to rescue the dog, had also broken through the thin ice.

The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Dept (LCSD), Lapeer County EMS (LC- EMS), Imlay City Fire Dept (ICFD) and Attica Twp FDs responded to the 2000 block of S. Van Dyke in Imlay Twp to rescue a human who had fallen through the ice. Due to the reported conditions, the LCSD dive team was also activated. LCSD Sgt Nesbit arrived within five (5) minutes of being dispatched and ICFD arrived shortly after. Attica Twp FD responded with their full complement of ice rescue equipment.

Upon arrival, the male homeowner was about 20 feet away from shore sitting on a pontoon pedal boat and the family dog was about 70 – 80 feet out in open water, surrounded by broken ice. Sgt Nesbit determined the homeowner was not in the water and out of immediate danger. Sgt Nesbit used a flat bottom rowboat to rescue the dog as fire fighters retrieved the homeowner from the pedal boat. The fire fighters then helped Sgt Nesbit get back to shore.

“This residence has a large pond beside and behind it. The homeowners had let their three (3) year old dog outside as they normally do. About 10 minutes later they heard a moaning wail from the dog and, using a flashlight, could see the dog’s eyes in the pond, struggling just above the ice line. The male homeowner tried to push his small pontoon pedal boat out to rescue the dog when he broke through the ice and fell into about 5 feet of water. The homeowner climbed up on the pedal boat but could not maneuver the boat due to the ice.” – ICFD Fire Chief Kip Reaves

Imlay City Fire fighters used ropes and slings to reach the pedal boat and pulled the boat and passenger, over the ice, to the shore. The homeowner was wet and very cold but not hurt. Both homeowners were checked over by LC – EMS. Sgt Nesbit had the dog in the boat but was still in the middle of the pond. One ICFD firefighter broke through the ice trying to throw a rope to Sgt Nesbit. That firefighter was unhurt but soaked. Using the rope he was trying to throw, firefighters pulled him into shore and put him into a warm fire truck.

Attica firefighters in ice rescue suits, took a retrieval rope out to the boat to assist getting the Sgt, the dog and the boat back to shore. About half way to the boat, the ice gave way and the Attica ice rescue firefighter then had to crawl and swim the rest of the way out to the boat. Once the row boat was secured by the rope, all were pulled back in by onshore firefighters.

“We had quite a conversation with the homeowner about thin ice and the recent tragedy at Stanton Lake in Arcadia Twp. The homeowner confided that he knew the dangers, but the dog is their pet and very important to them. That is quite understandable. Thanks to Attica Twp FD for having the right equipment and training to get the job done smoothly and safely, it all went well.” – ICFD Fire Chief Kip Reaves

We’d like to reiterate how unsafe the ice is right now. We need to be extra careful. Warn your children and watch your pets. Dogs have been known to chase squirrels onto the ice and skid right into open water or break through the ice.” – ICFD Fire Chief Kip Reaves

Authority – Imlay City Fire Chief Kip Reaves, 19 February 2012

Contact 810.724.6262