Firefighters from Detroit's Engine 1 under investigation for failing to respond to Fillmore crash

Detroit Fire Engine 1 firefighters are under investigation by the Detroit Fire Department for failing to respond to a crash at The Fillmore Detroit that left one woman injured.

An SUV crashed into The Fillmore's box office on Woodward Ave. early Monday, prompting a 9-1-1 call. Despite being dispatched –and located only two blocks away from the entertainment venue– Detroit Fire Engine 1 firefighters reportedly told dispatch they were unable to respond to the call because they were occupied with paperwork from a previous incident.

"When the call came in to the fire department, there were four units that were dispatched almost simultaneously," said DFD Chief of Staff David Lavalley. "The dispatcher believed that they were in service and that's why they were the first unit that was dispatched."

According to the department, the three additional units dispatched to the scene arrived in a timely manner to assist the victim – including firefighters from station nine located approximately four miles away, even though it turned out their services were not needed. An ambulance and police officer were nearby and got to the scene first.

"Medic units were the first on the scene, they took her out of the vehicle and administered medical treatment to her and eventually conveyed her to a hospital," Lavalley said. "From the time that we were dispatched til the time that we had fire department personnel on scene – that was only 3 minutes. We don’t believe there was a delay in response."

The issue is the failure to adhere to protocol, Levalley said.

The firefighters at station one should have completed the prior incident's paperwork at the scene or notified dispatch that they were not in service, which would take away any confusion, according to the Detroit Fire Department.


Driver crashes into The Fillmore theater in Downtown Detroit

A driver crashed into the box office of The Fillmore in Downtown Detroit on Woodward Avenue.

"If there was a policy violation, we will deal with the policy violation but we're confident that there was not a delay in service," he added.

At first glance, it seems to be a minor policy violation that would probably necessitate some retraining or a reprimand, according to the department. 

The investigation is still in its beginning stages and remains ongoing.