Busy night for local firefightersPublished 11:54pm Thursday, February 16, 2012
Local firefighters had a very busy night Thursday.
Two medical calls led up to the first fire call at about 11 p.m. A two-story house at 1223 Broadway was billowing smoke from the basement, first and second floors.
Niles Fire Chief Larry Lamb said the fire originated in the basement. The previous owner had moved out several months ago, but officials saw indications someone may have been living there — a mattress and couch were still in the basement.
“We can’t rule out there wasn’t anyone illegally living there,” Lamb said.
The supposedly vacant house did not have electricity, and drywall in the basement helped contain the fire. The structure sustained major fire and heat damage in the basement and basement ceiling; the rest of the house had minor smoke damage.
The fire is under investigation. Lamb said foul play has not been ruled out.
The Niles Charter Township Fire Department, Niles Police Department and SouthwesternMichigan Ambulance Service (SMCAS) responded to the call as well.
While that fire was being processed, a second fire call came in from south Niles Township. A township fire truck had to leave the Broadway fire and respond to the second call at a mobile home in Franklin Woods. According to Niles Township Fire Chief Gary Brovold, the call was for an electrical issue that was quickly resolved. The home did not sustain any damage.
A third fire call was then reported on 14th Street. Lamb said a house was filling up with smoke, which was attributed to a malfunctioning furnace.
Lamb said the quick response to the three fire calls is a testament to the efficiency of the neighboring fire departments working together.
“The thing to impress upon is the relationship between us and Niles Township — and SMCAS — has been stellar,” he said.