There has been a lot of discussion about the radio traffic we shared with you yesterday (Wednesday) from a fire Sunday morning in Highland Park, Michigan. Like most (but certainly not all) who have heard it, Highland Park’s fire chief finds what happened “unacceptable”.
Instead of calling for help from Detroit under an improved mutual aid agreement, the commanding officer decided to go it alone, a disastrous decision that risked the lives of his fellow firefighters and caused the blaze to burn for more than four hours Sunday morning.
But the poor decision-making, which is now under investigation by Highland Park officials, didn’t end there. Angry that the blaze was growing, the commanding officer, Lt. Eric Hollowell, demanded that firefighters stay in the burning house until the blaze was out.
“This was unacceptable,” Highland Park Fire Chief Derek Hillman told me. “I want to make sure this is handled properly and never happens again. The idea behind mutual aid was to make Highland Park safer.”