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