Highland Park fire chief criticizes Detroit firefighters for leaving burning apartment

Detroit fire crews were the first on the scene of a burning apartment in Highland Park, but they didn't stick around to finish extinguishing the blaze.

When the fire started Monday night at an occupied four-unit apartment building on Tuxedo, Detroit firefighters were the first on the scene. However, they left before the fire was out.

"We’re part of a mutual aid agreement. We have never broken the mutual aid agreement, so it’s still in place," Highland Park Fire Chief Erik Hollowell said. "So, I'm not really sure why that fire, for some reason, the chief chose to pull the line out like that."

Detroit Fire Commissioner Charles Simms said his department helps as part of the mutual aid agreement when they are requested.

"Detroit has no obligation to go to Highland Park. It's only under a request, and we were never requested," Simms said. 

He said crews took a hose charge line into the apartment before Highland Park crews arrived. Detroit was then pulled to help with another possible emergency in Detroit. 


Highland Park family escapes house fire, claims DFD response fell short

While the fire was in Highland Park, the Detroit Fire Department responded first but did not stay to finish the job, officials confirmed.

"One of our lieutenants notified Highland Park and said, ‘Hey, we’ll remain on scene until you get your charge lines.' And so that's where the exchange was."

Both Simms and Hollowell said they would be willing to meet to discuss what happened. 

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