Detroit Firefighters’ Dramatic Rescue Of 4 Year Old Boy

Today in Detroit Fire History March 29, 2000

On March 29, 2000 Detroit Firefighters made a dramatic rescue of a 4 year old child from a house fire on Seyburn Street. 

When the fire started the house was occupied by a grandmother and 3 small children. The children were all under the age of 4. Prior to fire crews arriving the grandmother was able to get herself and the other 2 children to safety. Unfortunately she died from smoke inhalation and cardiac arrest. 

The rescued boy was resuscitated on scene before being transported to Childrens’ Hospital. He was later reported to be in good condition. 

This photo was taken by long time Detroit fire photographer Bill Eisner. It shows firefighters Eric Jurmo and James Babbish as they reach the bottom of the aerial ladder and hand the boy off for medical care. 


Ladder 5 Is Motorized With A Christie Front Drive

Today in Detroit Fire Department History: February 21, 1913

On February 21, 1913, a representative of the Front Driver Motor Company was in Detroit overseeing the delivery of a Christie tractor that was used to convert Ladder 5 from a horse drawn to a motorized vehicle.

Ladder 5 was a 85′ American LaFrance built in 1908 The aerial ladder was equipped with a turn table and spring hoists. It had been pulled by 3 of Detroit’s powerful fire horses. The Christie tractor was a 4 cylinder, two wheel, chain driven, 90 horsepower vehicle equipped with solid rubber tires. 

Ladder 5 and crew after the ladder truck was motorized with a Christie tractor – 1914 photo

When fully equipped, the motorized ladder truck weighed in at a whopping 15,980 pounds.  Once the Christie front end was fitted to the existing truck, Ladder 5 was able to respond at twice the speed previously possible.

The listing from the department’s annual report for the 1914-1915 fiscal year gives details of the equipment carried on Ladder 5.  
In this photo the words “Christie Front Drive” can be seen on the rig’s front nameplate. It also gives a good look at the solid rubber tires the unit was equipped with. 

This modern day picture shows the front of a Christie tractor that is similar to the one Ladder 5 was converted with.