Blast From Fire Hose Injures Mich. Cop


A Harper Woods police officer was injured during a freak accident involving the city's fire department.

"The glass in the window is what shattered closer to him and hit him while he was sitting there," said Harper Woods Lt. Tamera Eschendal.

According to Eschendal, the accident happened as firemen were conducting a routine test on equipment outside the building, which houses both the police and fire departments.

Harper Woods Fire Chief Sean Gunnery said a crew was spraying water from a hose when a pressure pump on the truck malfunctioned, creating a surge of high-pressured water.

Gunnnery said the fireman lost control of the hose which quickly turned toward the building and that the water was so strong it shattered the glass in two windows.

"It's a huge amount of pressure for one guy to hold on to," said Gunnery. "It's irregular for that to happen so we're trying to figure out what caused the huge jump in pressure."

The injured police officer is a sergeant who was sitting in the department's briefing room when the window shattered a few feet away.

Eschendal said the sergeant first thought someone was shooting at the building.

"It's kind of shocking having something like that happen. It's not something you expect when you're back there working," Eschendal said. "Our first reaction as officers...(is gunfire) you never really know."

Gunnery called the incident a freak accident and said the department routinely will test equipment outside the building.

Gunnery said during future testing crews will make sure they are not facing the building.

"It kind of bums you out that one of our officers was injured. Thankfully, it was a minor injury," Gunnery said.

The windows have been replaced and, according to Eschendal, the injured sergeant is expected to be off work until sometime next week.

Gunnery said the department will bring in an outside inspector to check the equipment that malfunctioned.

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