Fire consumes building despite multi-dept. response


LAPEER — A five-alarm blaze gutted a building on the east side of Lapeer early Saturday morning.

Among the responding agencies was the Attica Township Fire Department.

A five-alarm blaze destroyed a building just east of Lapeer early Saturday morning. One injury was reported.

In a press release put out Monday, City of Lapeer Fire & Rescue Chief Mike Vogt said, “In the early hours of Saturday, February 3, 2024, at 6:01 a.m., City of Lapeer Fire and Rescue responded to a significant fire incident at 1313 Imlay City Rd. in the City of Lapeer.”

Chief Vogt said the incident required a combined effort from various fire and rescue departments, public safety agencies, and community partners.

The Chief said responding along with his department were units from Elba Township (automatic mutual aid) along with Attica Township Fire Department, Metamora Township Fire Department, and Davison-Richfield Fire Department.

He said other assisting public safety agencies included the City of Lapeer Police Department, Michigan State Police, the City of Lapeer Department of Public Works, and the City of Lapeer Building Department.

In the release, Vogt pointed out, “Utility response teams from DTE and Consumers Energy promptly disconnected electricity and natural gas. Both disconnects were completed at distribution points that provided utilities to the fire building.”

The Chief said community partners, played a key role in the incident.

“Walmart, and McDonald’s on Imlay City Rd, stepped in to provide refreshments, snacks, sandwiches, and coffee to support the emergency responders.”

As to the response to the blaze, Chief Vogt said, “the first members from Lapeer Fire and Rescue arrived at 6:04 a.m. discovering smoke showing from the roof. Forced entry was required to gain access to the building. The fire was in the attic and ceiling deck void space. Suppression efforts were complicated by challenging conditions due to a sheet metal ceiling and multiple layers of roofing material.”

He went on to add, “As the situation escalated, multiple alarms were transmitted bringing in additional resources. During suppression operations, a roof and ceiling collapse occurred, resulting in a MAYDAY.”

He explained, “In the fire service, a MAYDAY is an urgent distress call used to communicate that a firefighter is in imminent danger or requires immediate assistance. It is a critical signal indicating a life-threatening situation, prompting swift and coordinated actions to ensure the safety and rescue of the individual in distress.”

The Lapeer Chief said a rapid and effective response followed as the remaining interior team, comprising of a chief-level officer and two firefighters, quickly extricated the two trapped firefighters during the MAYDAY situation.

“Unfortunately, one firefighter sustained a shoulder injury in the process; however, no other injuries were reported,” the Chief said.

“Subsequently, the operation transitioned to exterior efforts, employing elevated master streams and heavy equipment,” according to Vogt.

Fire officials say the building, owned by Midstate Well Drilling, was being used as a storage facility for MKX/Berry Green Management at the time of the incident.

The property was secured by BMS CAT – Jarvis Property Restoration at the request of the insurance company.

Imlay City Rd. was temporarily closed during the incident, reopening at approximately
11:40 a.m.

Chief Vogt said the origin and cause of the fire remain under investigation.

He concluded by saying, “The City of Lapeer Fire and Rescue extends sincere thanks to the assisting fire departments, public safety agencies, and community partners for their unwavering support during this challenging incident.”

No other injuries were reported and fire officials continue to work the scene to determine cause and origin.