By Charles Sercombe
A fierce storm with high winds knocked down a power line, which sparked a house fire on Trowbridge Saturday evening.
Residents on the scene, which was located on Trowbridge between Jos. Campau and Gallagher, say the fire started when a power line fell down on a two-family house and quickly spread to other houses.
Three houses were severely damaged, while others sustained various degrees of damages.
All of the residents were either not home or managed to get out safely.
The most heavily damaged house was the two-family house, which was totally destroyed. Fire Marshal Bill Diamond said the live power lines hampered firefighters, who were getting shocks from the energized houses.
“We had to halt suppression,” Diamond said.
DTE crews were also delayed in shutting down power to the block because they were on many downed lines reports throughout the metro area.
Many communities suffered severe damages from the high winds.
Even when the power was cut off, Diamond said some of the houses still had energy, possibly because they became charged when the lines surged.
Also adding to the challenge was that Hamtramck firefighters were on two other calls when the Trowbridge fire occurred. One crew was at a house fire on Denton St.
The downed line on Trowbridge also heavily damaged two houses several houses east of the two-family house. Firefighters rescued two dogs from that house, and volunteers on the scene managed to get them into a cage.
Diamond said a pet cat died at one of the houses.
Most of the firefighters on the scene were from Detroit. Hamtramck has an automatic assistance agreement with Detroit and Highland Park.
A Hamtramck firefighter was treated at a hospital for heat exhaustion, and a Detroit firefighter injured his shoulder.
Hamtramck firefighters continued to have a busy night after the Trowbridge fire. They were called to four other runs after that fire, including house fires in Detroit and Highland Park.
The storm caused a power outage for about 400,000 in the metro area.
July 21, 2019
This story was updated on July 22, 2019