Detroit firefighters hospitalized, rig failures, extreme cold and high winds make for a brutal night for Detroit Firefighters

Detroit firefighters responded to a fire in a two-story commercial building located on 8 Mile Road and Stansbury, the city’s northwest side. The building housed the General Merchandise Liquidation Surplus Outlet, which sold appliances, electronics and furniture.

Two firefighters were hospitalized for smoke inhalation after they crawled out of the building.  Initial reports from local new outlets are stating that their air tanks “apparently gave out”.  Footage of the firefighters exiting the building can be seen starting around the 30 second mark in this news report.

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From the start this fire was an uphill battle.  The hydrant right in front of the store was not working. Two ladder trucks that responded to the fire experienced failures that rendered them useless. Couple these complications with the heavy fire load contained in the building, high winds and bitter cold and you have one long rough night for Detroit firefighters.

Updates on the condition of the firefighters are not available at this time.

11-17-2014 8 mile and stansbury

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A Question About DFD Car License Plates

I’m hoping you can help me with a question that one of our followers sent in.

At one point several firefighters had car license plate numbers that started with DFD. I know some still have the DFD plates.

The question is, were those plates reserved by the Secretary of State for Detroit Firefighters only? 

If so, was this practice discontinued? 

If you have any insights or stories related to the DFD plates I would love to share them. Please leave a comment below.

Detroit Firefighter Line of Duty Death – Walter Harris

Today in DFD history – November 15, 2008

Detroit Firefighter Walter Harris made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the citizens of Detroit.  At the time of his death Walter was assigned to Engine 23, in the 6th Battalion. He held the rank of Senior Firefighter, badge # 3386.

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Around 5:00 am on the morning of November 15, 2008, Engine 23 was called to a fire in a vacant dwelling at 7418 E. Kirby Street. Engine 23 and Squad 3 arrived to find flames shooting out the second story windows.

A deck gun was used for the initial knock down then the crew of Engine 23 advanced a hand line up the stairway to the second floor attic area. Firefighters had gained control of the fire and were extinguishing hot spots when the roof of the two-story building suddenly collapsed.

A section of the roof trapped Harris face down. Fellow firefighters worked feverishly to free him from the debris. He was taken to Detroit Receiving Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.

Four other firefighters were injured in the collapse.

Thousands of firefighters from across the US and Canada gathered at Walt’s funeral, where his son James Hill-Harris (also a Detroit Firefighter) spoke of the lessons Walter taught by the way he lived. Walter is buried in Elmwood Cemetery.

A 17 year veteran of the Detroit Fire Department

Walter Harris joined the Detroit Fire Department on March 11, 1991. The 38 year old was a 17 year veteran of the department, just week away from making Sergeant.

Walter was the first Detroit Firefighter to join the ranks of the Chaplain’s Corp.  He also served as the Chaplin for the Detroit Axemen Motorcycle Club and was an ordained minister for the Community Christian Fellowship in Detroit.

Walter was married to Siri (Jackson) Harris on Valentines Day in 1993.  They have 6 sons, James Hill-Harris (currently a Detroit Firefighter assigned to the arson division), Robert Burtan-Harris, Cabet, Patrick, Christian, and Walter.  They also have 2 grandchildren, Mariyon and SaVanna.

Walt had a larger than life personality. His ever present smile, and warm, friendly way made you feel like a friend even if you had just met.

In the words a fellow Detroit Firefighter / friend, “We are all better people for having the honor of knowing him.”



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Detroit Firefighters “Bomberos Give Back”

Detroit Firefighters give back to help needy families this Christmas.

Christmas is especially difficult for Detroit families who have fallen on hard economic times. Detroit Firefighters know this all too well.

Detroit’s bankruptcy, multiple pay cuts and reduced health care benefits are hitting them hard. Despite this, a group of Detroit Firefighters and their families are working to ensure several Detroit families have a Merry Christmas.

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Bomberos Give Back

“Bomberos Give Back” has been collecting donations, organizing fund raisers and coordinating the “adoption” of Christmas families. For Yari Handley (wife of Detroit Firefighter David Handley), this is a passion project. Years ago Yari’s family was facing difficult times. She remembers the joy they felt when others reached out to help them with Christmas.



There are several ways you can join the effort.

Join in the celebration of the holiday season and help with the effort. Everyone is Welcomed. Bring a cash donation or unwrapped gift. Childrens’ toys, store gift cards, and warm clothing are especially needed.

November 22nd, 2014
5:00pm – 2:00 am

Abick’s Bar
3500 Gilbert Street
Detroit, MI 48210
(View Map)

There will be raffles and 50/50 drawings!

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Donations to Bomberos Give Back can be made in several ways.

Cash donations can be made through Paypal,
or dropped of in the collection jar at Abick’s Bar.

There is also a collection box for gifts located at Abick’s.
Suggested gifts include unwrapped toys, gift cards, and warm clothing.

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For more information about adopting a Christmas family contact:

Firefighter David Handley, E-35 – (248) 761-3265
Sgt. Sam Vazquez, E-29 – (313) 670-0255
Yari Handley – (734) 386-9327

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Follow Bomberos Give Back on Facebook

Axemen M/C Christmas Party

The Axemen M/C Detroit (a professional firefighters motorcycle club) will host the “Dare to Care”, Bring a Teddy Bear Christmas Party.

The party will be held at Lyskawa VFW Hall, Dearborn Heights, MI (View Map).

December 6th, 2014
Doors open at 6:000pm
Dinner at 7:30 pm.

Please RSVP via Facebook or by calling Brent at (313) 461-7840

Proceeds and donations from the party will benefit the University of Michigan Childrens’ Burn Unit.


Detroit Firefighter injured as a wall collapsed at a fire in the old Fisher Body plant.

A Detroit Firefighter is in stable condition with a possible head injury after a wall collapsed at a fire.

Crews were fighting a fire in the old Fisher Body plant at Harper and Piquette this morning.  Two firefighters were in the bucket, approximately 40 feet in the air, when a wall of the building collapsed.

Initial reports say that the one firefighter jumped from the bucket to avoid the falling debris. He was initially knocked unconscious but has since came to.  Video (below) shows his fellow firefighters rushing to remove him from the debris.  He was transported by Detroit EMS Medic 21 to Detroit Receiving Hospital for treatment.

Please keep this young man in your prayers.

Fox 2 News Headlines

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Second Time Thieves Steal Saws from a Detroit Fire Truck!

For the second time in less than 2 years Detroit’s Ladder 22 has had a chainsaw and a large K-14 saw stolen from their fire truck. Firefighters use the chainsaw to breach the roofs of building to allow hot air and superheated gasses to escape during a fire. The larger saw is used to cut open metal doors often found on commercial buildings. To add injury to insult, the equipment was taken from the ladder truck while Ladder 22’s firefighters were fighting a fire.l-22 using chainsaw

After the first theft the replacement saws had been chained together with the chain attached to the inside of a truck’s compartment. At the time of the theft Ladder 22’s truck was out of service. They were given a Tac as a temporary replacement rig so the chain securing the saws was not attached to the rig.

Since the city does not have replacement saws the crew of Ladder 22 has already placed an order for a replacement chainsaw. They have paid for it from money they raised by selling t-shirts, money that was originally slated for remodeling the kitchen at Ladder 22’s quarters. At this time they are not sure how or if they will be able to replace the K-14.

The First Theft

The first theft occurred in January 2013. Firefighters of Ladder Company 22 were stopped at a restaurant just a few blocks from their station when thieves took their chainsaw and K-12 from a rig compartment. The crew was able to recover the K-12 saw from a local flea market, but the chainsaw was not found. The chainsaw was later replaced through a donation by the National Firefighters Endowment.

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Detroit Firefighter Line of Duty Death – George Lloyd

Today in Detroit Fire Department history –
Detroit Firefighter Line of Duty Death
October 15, 1917

Detroit Fire Department Substitute Fireman George Nelson Lloyd made the ultimate sacrifice in service to the citizens of Detroit. At the time of his death George was assigned to Engine 6.


George died from injuries he sustained by falling through an engine house fire pole hole on October 1, 1917.  He was 28 years old.

George Lloyd was born November 9, 1888 to Mary (Kline) Lloyd and James Lloyd.  George never married.  His full time profession was carpentry.

He was buried at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Detroit, MI on 10-17-1917.

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