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Handicapped man & 4 pets saved from burning home on 11th and Sable

Submitted by on July 3, 2020 – 9:44 amNo Comment

PRESS RELEASE FROM ALPENA FIRE CHIEF BILL FORBUSH:

Alpena City firefighters were dispatched to house fire at the corner of Sable and 11th street at 10:58 pm Thursday evening.

Initial reports were that several people were trapped in the building.

On arrival, a man, woman and child had escaped from the second floor. City Police and firefighters rescued a handicapped man and his motorized wheelchair from the first floor apartment.

First arriving units described the home as heavily involved in fire, and off-duty personnel were called in to help, along with Alpena Township firefighters. Working together, the crews were able to control the fire very quickly, and subsequently rescued three cats and a dog. The animals were given oxygen at the scene and cared for until the Alpena County Sheriff’s Animal Control Officer could respond to take custody of the pets.

Township volunteer firefighter Amanda Tolan, who is a veterinary technician, coordinated caring for the animals on scene.

All four human victims were treated at the scene by Alpena Fire/County EMS paramedics and transported to MidMichigan Health Alpena for further care. None were thought to have life threatening injuries

Fire investigators believe the fire may have been caused by careless smoking on the porch of the residence, igniting the wooden floorboards. A final determination will be made in the coming days.

Alpena City Police and state troopers assisted at the scene, as did DTE Energy and Alpena Power Company technicians.

This is not the first careless smoking fire in Alpena this year. Residents are urged to dispose of smoking materials properly. The unusually dry weather we are experiencing makes it even more likely that a single ember could ignite structures. An even bigger hazard this week is careless use of consumer fireworks. Firefighters urge extreme caution with fireworks as they are frequently the cause of fires and injuries this time of year.