A fire broke out inside a vacant party store in southwest Detroit this afternoon and came dangerously close to spreading to an active fire station next door.
There was little firefighters could do at first because the quarters at W. Grand Boulevard and McGraw only housed a squad, which is primarily used for rescues. The city disbanded the station’s fire engine in June 2012 as part of crippling budget cuts.
By the time firefighters began arriving in engines and a ladder truck, the blaze was beginning to take off. Firefighters also battled the flames from the roof of the 106-year-old fire station.
An electrical line toppled and injured a civilian, causing serious burns.
Strong winds sent heavy, acrid smoke across several miles of Detroit neighborhoods and nearly prompted the closure of I-94.
After nearly losing control of the blaze, firefighters were able to quell the flames before they spread to the fire station.
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.