None injured in Dowagiac residential fire

Published 4:10 pm Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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DOWAGIAC — No one was injured in a multi-story residential fire in the City of Dowagiac Monday night, according to the Dowagiac City Fire Department.

At approximately 11:39 p.m. Monday, the Dowagiac Fire Department was dispatched to a reported multi-story residential structure fire at 210 Courtland Street in the City of Dowagiac with reports of heavy black smoke from the second story of the structure. As part of its automatic aid agreement the Wayne Township Fire Department was dispatched to respond with an engine and manpower.

An off-duty Lieutenant arrived on the scene in approximately three minutes and advised responding fire units of a confirmed working fire with heavy smoke showing throughout the two-story building. Dowagiac Fire crews reportedly made an aggressive coordinated fire attack with Wayne Township firefighters. However, crews were unable to gain quick access to the attic due to the age and building construction of the residence. Fire crews completed primary and secondary searches of the residence with each search negative for victims.

Smoke and fire conditions deteriorated rapidly inside and Fire Command requested a box alarm to bring in additional manpower to assist in mitigating the incident. The Pokagon Fire Department along with Indian Lake Fire Department were requested to the scene and the Sister Lakes Fire Department was requested to cover our emergencies until our crews were placed back in service. 

Crews worked diligently to extinguish the fire and command was able to radio the fire under control just after midnight. Firefighters remained on the scene until after 2 am for salvage and overhaul operations.

According to the fire department, the fire started in a closet area on the second story of the residence and extended into the attic area and eventually into the roof of the structure. It has been determined human intervention was the cause of the fire. No working smoke detectors were observed in the residence, please take this time to remember that only WORKING smoke alarms can save lives.

Dowagiac Fire Crews were also assisted by the Dowagiac Police Department, Pokagon Tribal Police Department, Michigan State Police, Pride Care Ambulance Service, Wayne, Pokagon, Indian Lake, and Sister Lakes Fire Departments, American Electric Power, and SEMCO Energy.