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UPDATED – A must see: It doesn't get much closer than this. Roof caving in during Dearborn, Michigan fire. Additional video & pictures added.

In case you were wondering reporter Ron Savage, in the video above, is a volunteer paid, on-call firefighter with Michigan’s Brighton Area Fire Department.

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Dearborn Fire Department website 

Thanks to a number of our loyal readers for the alert about this video from a fire in Dearborn, Michigan Thursday evening that became a very close call for three firefighters (including Mike Smith who publishes the wonderful site

Above is the story from WJBK-TV with more some additional video of the fire. Below is raw video of the partial collapse of the roof from WXYZ-TV.


Three Dearborn fire fighters escaped serious injury during some scary moments  while battling a fire at Fordson Cleaners.

It happened when they were on the roof trying to ventilate the building.


They had made their first hole when the roof started giving way under their feet.  Skyfox was overhead when it happen and caught the dramatic moment on camera. 

Click here for Dearborn Patch aftermath photos by Ian Kushnir.

Dearborn Patch:

The call for the fire came in just after the business closed, around 7 p.m. It was a two-alarm fire that blew out the doors of the business

While attempting to ventilate the building, the roof of the business caved in with three firefighters standing on top of it. One man almost fell in, but was pulled to safety.

Fordson Cleaners has been in business in Dearborn since 1949, and cleans everything from draperies and rugs to wedding gowns and commercial orders. 

Do you want to sell a rig? Click HERE to find out how with

Click here for Google Maps tour around Fordson Cleaners at Lois and Michigan in Dearborn.

Click here for Bing Maps Bird’s Eye View of Fordson Cleaners.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Hozer

    Just show this video to the brain-surgeon politicians who want to cut Firefighter pensions or cut money for FF’s all over the Country……

  • http://msn retiredin sc


    • Anonymous

      Yeah cause that hood would have done a whole lot for them falling into the fire…nice comment idiot.

      • Anonymous

        Not defending not wearing it… But if they had fallwn thru… Nomex hood would have made NO difference….

      • http://msn retiredin sc

        How do you know that the hood would not of made a difference, it would of given them a better chance.I did not see any fire coming out of the hole on the roof, so that room under the hole may not have been on fire??? Steam burns come to mind. I love it when people hide behind their post name of ANONYMOUS get a set of bells.

    • Anonymous

      maybe next time you post a arm chair quarterback comment you will learn how to spell

  • cappy

    I hope everyone gets a refresher on roof ops for verticle vent on this clip. The brothers were able to retreat in the nick of time.Glad they are ok. We rarely get that birds eye view when the stuff starts hitting the fan.
    I hope they will rethink to whole ” I’ll secure my chin strap when i need it” position. So many of our new guys experience the lazy habits of some of us older guys that they establish the chin strap on the helment brim as the way to do buisness. We all know this can be a costly way to take a short cut on wearing our ppe… and we may have to pay a big price for it.Strap on the helment and not secured under our chinis a creature comfort that we cannot afford.

    Stay safe… or should I say… lets all have the courage to be safe… and all go home.

  • mark KIC, FMQB

    So are the guys coming down the ladder at the beginning of the first video the ones who almost went through the roof? Because if they are, whoever made the decision to vent that roof with that much black, turbulent smoke pushing hard needs to have a reeducation. It was obvious at that point the building was going to burn to the ground. Too much fire load, and more than likely no sprinklers, that much smoke, the end is obvious.

    Thank God the brothers didn’t get hurt, but that one looked like not such a good decision.

  • scott matheson

    Commercial building, flat roof and large interior space all scream lightweight truss roof. With that amount of fire load inside I would be leary of sending only three up to vent. They should have been roped off to a back up crew. Better still go to a defensive attack.

  • mdff

    The news reporter is very articulate and well versed in understanding the fire service. That was refreshing to hear in today’s pretty face first/read the telepropter TV news. Glad the brothers were ok. I looked at the roof close call first and the fire did not appear from that vantage point to be so advanced. After looking at the other video, that was one hell of a job with the fire well advanced.Not sure of the time line with each of the videos so can’t comment on the decision to vent the roof. Hope they have funds to replace the saw.

    • dave statter

      Agreed on the reporter. He told a compelling and interesting story. For the record, I was never another pretty face.


    • http://google donell

      the reporter is a reserve firefighter


    Me thinks there will be some extra butts in church this weekend.
    It’s amazing that your legs work that well when your butt is puckered up that tight.

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  • Former Chief

    The reporter is a Firefighter. The news anchor thanks him for his service as a Volunteer Firefighter. Thank God the Brothers are safe. Another great video of the dangers of the job. I somewhat disagree with some of the comments above. Right, wrong, or indifferent, I’m thinking that just about every FD I know is sending someone to the roof in that instance for vertical ventilation.

  • oldhead

    The ONLY reason this reporter is knowledgeable about F/F operations is because he is one. Listen to the end of the report. To the brothers in Dearborn, good looking out for each other on the roof. As for the fire starting in a laundry cart, sprinklers would have contained it to that and if not, the fire would have been held in check until the arrival of the FD. If this owner is able to rebuild I’ll bet he adds them. If he doesn’t, he’s just another effen idiot.

  • Rudedawg

    Good report, and good to see they made it off the roof. I’m not quite sure if they should have been up there at that point, but there is no really good timeline reference of how long the fire had been burning. What I don’t see is the use of large hose streams again. If those conditions were present at the initial attack, there should have been a bunch of portable monitors in the street being directed through those big windows. These types of buildings tend to collapse on the guys trying to make an interior attack with the 1.75″ line. If it is lost when you get there, it will be lost when you leave. The whole block or exposures would be saved by the application of LARGE amounts of water. We still don’t get it.

  • Anonymous

    Why would you put people on the roof in the first place. Most likely a truss roof. Heavy fire , large fire load = likely truss failure.

  • Anonymous

    The reporter is also a volunteer firefighter!

  • Stumper

    If you watch it again you will see that is not the saw laying up there. That is the one guys helmet. So, Lost one helmet and one long Pike pole.
    Far better than a life lost.
    Yeah, Reporter did a fine job. Heard a comment in there that he is a volly.

    • dave statter

      Ron Savage is a member of Michigan’s Brighton Area Fire Department.

      • Legeros

        Ron Savage! Now that’s a news name!

  • John Findlay

    Proud to see these guys were on air on the roof. Too many times FF’s claim it gets in the way. Here’s proof of why you should be plugged in when operating on the roof.

  • Mack Seagrave

    First, I’m very glad that the Brothers who were venting the roof escaped the colapse apparrntly unharmed. Second, I find it to be unfathomable that a chief officer can repeat to the media several times that’s there was a tremendous fire load inside the fire building, yet he allowed his firefighters to attack using 1.75″ hand lines equipped with fog nozzles. To make matters worse, it appears that the lines aren’t even flowing their maximum GPM (Hint: FF standing up, operating line by himself while showing no need to lean into the pressure … Another kneeling flowing a line that has a very weak stream). REMEMBER, the sooner you extinguish the fire, the sooner most of your problems go away!

  • Half LT


    Nope, they lost the saw.. The Officer is carrying the Firefighters helmet and hands it back to him when they get to the ladder (see full version)..

  • Firemutt

    They also lost a saw. The firefighter that almost went down was using a saw when the collapse happened. Glad they are safe.

  • dadman

    Who is Joe, and why is his name on the roof?
    What’s the red object by Joes’s last name?

  • Blue

    This is Ron Savage signing off, you stay classy Dearborn………

  • oldhead

    Ron Savage?! That sounds like a dancer at the Hangar Club!

    • Legeros

      I think our man needs a name change to properly compete in the aggressive world of fire blogs. Statter is A-one brand, but let’s infuse the thing. Is the world ready for…

      Dave Savage

  • ukfbbuff

    A little reminiscent to the Sacramento (Ca.) Metro FD “63rd Street Fire” when the roof failed.

    True a better Situational Awareness about the fires intensity
    in relation to the ventilation team going up on the roof may have avoided this Near Miss. Possibly taking a TIC would have this also.

    Glad to see no one got hurt, it was a “Teachable Moment” for everyone.

  • Vol. Firefighter

    Those firefighters Guardian Angels really were looking out for those guys!

    Three potential LODD’s averted.

  • Stumper

    yeah. Watched it again and saw that the saw was dropped in the very beginning. Missed that the first couple times I watched. Didn’t have it on full screen.

  • youknowit

    Dave, just curious – Why didn’t my post get posted?

    • dave statter

      Even though it doesn’t offend me I do my bet to keep the four letter words out of these comments. That is usually the reason if comments don’t make it.