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We are currently changing our strategy for mobile home fires. These types of fires are fast and unpredictable. This fire brought this to our attention. Several factors made this structure fire unusual: a fire in the kitchen nearing the smoldering stage, a windy night that provided a "wind tunnel" after horizontal ventilation, an early-morning fire with a vehicle in the driveway, and the general construction type and contents involved with trailers.
An interesting note: The Sterling Heights Police Department went to the park to investigate a call of a distraught man trying to break into another mobile home. Police arrived to find thick smoke in the area and notified the fire department. The fire burned for a while before firefighters arrived. Police found the man ("Mr. B&E") and determined that his trailer was burning, and that he was trying to alert a neighbor to call 911. Police notified dispatch twice that everyone was out of the structure. That information, however, was not relayed to Engine 5, the first unit to arrive, which prompted the firefighters to enter the structure. We are working on this problem with dispatch.
The following comments and observations by Chief Goldfeder are based on discussions with the writer and others concerning this incident: