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Bodycam: Mich. Police Help Save Residents in Condo Fire

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March 15, 2023 Farmington Hills police officers are credited with going door to door and helping to evacuate residents after a fire erupted in a three-story condominium building.

By Anne Runkle Source The Oakland Press, Sterling Heights, Mich. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

A fire damaged six condominiums in Farmington Hills on Sunday, March 12, with the rest of the 24 units in the building sustaining smoke and water damage.

Farmington Hills police officers are credited with evacuating residents at the Country Glen Condominiums, on 14 Mile Road near Middlebelt Road.

Several officers were treated for smoke inhalation but did not require additional medical intervention, according to a release from the city of Farmington Hills.

No residents of the three-story building were injured.

“The courage displayed by these police officers and firefighters highlights their professionalism and underscores the dangers they face in the line of duty,” said Police Chief Jeff King, in a statement.

Officers went door to door on each floor to awaken and evacuate residents. Officers assisted several senior citizens who had difficulty moving through the smoke-filled hallways.

“Get away from the building,” one officer yelled to residents as he entered the building. “Get out of the building.”

He communicated with other officers via dispatch to determine what floors needed to be cleared.

“Police, police, police department,” an officer yelled as he banged on doors. “Your building is on fire; you need to get out. Come on, come on, you’ve got to get out…. No shoes, get out.”

Body cam footage showed officers escorting residents from their units and helping them downstairs. The officers were coughing as they maneuvered down hallways.

“Police, your building is on fire, you’ve got to get out,” one officer yells as they encountered heavy smoke on the top floor. “If you can hear me, come to my voice and to my light.”

Several officers re-entered the building to rescue a family dog.

The fire broke out at about 5:30 a.m. on a second-floor balcony. The cause is under investigation but arson has been ruled out, said Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh.

Firefighters had the blaze under control by about 6 a.m., Unruh said. They remained on scene until about 10:30 a.m. as they put out hot spots and investigated the fire.

About 30 Farmington Hills firefighters worked on the blaze, Unruh said. Firefighters from West Bloomfield, Southfield, Livonia, Farmington and Northville Township covered other runs in Farmington Hills.

Unruh said the fire department’s two aerial trucks played a key role in the quick extinguishment of the fire.

The trucks cost about $1 million each and were used for the first time at a fire in Farmington Hills Sunday.

One truck, purchased in 2018, has been used to retrieve someone from a tree and was used in several rescues involving injured people on roofs in Farmington Hills. It has been used to provide mutual aid at fires in neighboring cities.

The other truck, purchased in 2022, was used for the first time Sunday.

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