What’s worse, firefighters waited longer than they had to because EMS continued to give an incorrect ETA, dispatch records show.
Firefighters were called to 4967 Ashely at 1:55 a.m.
“We have an occupied, fully involved dwelling,” Engine Co. 52 radioed in to dispatch at 2:02 a.m., about a minute after arriving. “We are going to attempt to search for occupants.”
Firefighters found two victims, one of whom was unresponsive.
At 2:13 a.m., while firefighters were still trying to resuscitate the victim, paramedics told dispatch they were three to five minutes away.
The same ETA was given for the next eight minutes before firefighters decided to act on their own.
“We can’t wait,” Squad 6 told dispatch at 2:21 a.m. “We are going to transfer.”
The man, in his 50s or 60s, was taken to St. John Hospital and Medical Center – more than 20 minutes after EMS was called.
The other victim didn’t sustain serious injuries and was taken to the hospital by ambulance, which arrived about 30 minutes after the fire was dispatched.
Arson investigators are searching for a “person of interest.”
The strain on EMS was supposed to be relieved after the city announced the donation of 13 new, fully equipped ambulances.
Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.