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Three Detroit chiefs resign after investigation into burned firefighter


Watch Charlie LeDuff’s report

WJBK-TV reporter Charlie LeDuff reports that Detroit Fire Department Senior Chief Jack Wiley and Battalion Chiefs Fred Hartmann and Anthony Ellis have resigned following an investigation into a firefighter who was burned at a Highland Park house fire a month ago. In addition, a lieutenant has been suspended for 29 days and is on probation for a year.

According to LeDuff, shift swapping by the lieutenant left an inexperienced firefighter in charge of the fire company. In addition, after the firefighter fell through the floor and was burned, no chief officer went to the hospital to check on the firefighter.

Charlie LeDuff, WJBK-TV:

According to department officials, Lt. David Webster was signed in as the officer in charge of the crew – but it was an inexperienced firefighter in his place. The two had swapped shifts.

While fighting the fire, one of the crew members fell through the floor and was severely burned. He was taken to Detroit receiving by a private ambulance where he waited for treatment.

For two hours, he sat in the emergency room with 3rd degree burns.

No one in command notified headquarters about the injured man for at least 12 hours. The fire chiefs were then ordered to check on the injured firefighter but no one did, according to department officials.

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