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Video: Firefighters rescue 6 workers from fire in large building being demolished in Jackson, MI.

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Still photos from fire

A pile of debris that caught fire in Jackson, Michigan’s old Consumers Energy building quickly spread through two floors trapping six workers who were part of a demolition crew. The building has been vacant for almost 10-years. The Jackson Citizen Patriot has extensive coverage of various aspects of this fire via

Above is video from bakersvideo and below are a number of other videos showing parts of the rescue operation, the fire and news coverage.

Jon Szerlag, Jackson Citizen Patriot via

Firefighters from all departments throughout Jackson County came to the rescue. Five workers from Bay City-based Dore and Associates Contracting Inc. were rescued from the fourth or fifth floors, and one was rescued from the 11th floor.

“Our primary focus was to get the people out,” said Matt Heins, Jackson’s director of Police and Fire Services. “(The contractors) are okay. The medical personnel on scene checked them out.”

Firefighters used a ladder truck to get to the five workers on the fourth or fifth floor, and helped them climb down. For the man trapped on the 11th floor, firefighters used a Blackman-Leoni Department of Public Safety ladder truck because it is much taller and reaches up seven or eight stories.

Heins said the man on the 11th floor was able to get down several stories to get into the bucket, and was lowered to safety.


Jackson Fire Chief Matthew Heins says the fire started in a pile of debris on the third or fourth floor of the building. What caused the fire is still under investigation. 

The six demolition crewmen were working in the area of the fire when it started around 2 pm. The fire and smoke left the crewmen trapped with no way down.  

“There was flames coming out of one of the windows and there was extensive smoke. Initially we were only told there were five, but a short time later we found the sixth person missing,” said Heins.

Firefighters were able to get all six workers out by a ladder. All six were able to get down the ladder on their own. They suffered minor smoke inhalation, but there were no injuries. 

The fire consumed parts the 3rd and 4th floor, North-West corner. The size of the fire and building was too big for the Jackson Fire Department to handle alone. 6 other fire departments from around Jackson County also responded to the call.  

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Sharppointy1

    “How was your day at work, honey?”
    “Aw Geezum Pete, sweetie! Some debris caught fahr on the 4th floor. The guys got to climb down a fire truck ladder. It was so cool! But ’cause I was up too high I couldn’t climb down the ladder, I hadda wait til they got this public safety truck. I hadda ride down in the bucket with the 3 great big fire fighters and they all had masks and I hadda breathe the nasty smoke. I’m never cookin’ MY lunch in construction debris again, I’ll tell you what!”
    “Aw honey, I TOLD you to take the sandwiches I made ya!”

  • Fire21

    Looked like a well-thought-out response and quick action by the Firefighters. My only question…3 FFs in the basket to rescue one conscious uninjured civilian? Seems like a chance to overload the basket, and why take that chance? Am I not understanding something on aerial ops?

    • Eric

      Well, it does take at least 3 public safety officers to equal one fireman…so that could be a partial explanation. And the smoke wasn’t that bad, how about offer your mask to the civilian and man up?

  • 95%er

    4 adults is not even close to overloading the bucket. US aerials have a 3:1 safety factor, so a 1,000 lbs rating is really 3,000 lbs. before you approach danger of failure. Remember that aerials have most strength straight up at higher elevations. The capacity decreases at lower angles.

    • Fire21

      Still, 3 in the basket to rescue 1??? Besides, I run my aerial at manufacturer specs, not relying on safety factors, except when extremely critical.