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The fireground selfie becomes an issue at Michigan fatal fire

Selfie taken at deadly fire in Kalamazoo

Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety selfie via WXMI-TV

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Sadly, what we see here is not all that unusual in today’s fire service and it has been that way for a while. Smiling firefighters standing in front of or inside a burning or burned structure should never be okay (unless it’s a building or home used for training). In this case from Kalamazoo, Michigan it’s not just property that was destroyed. Two people were found dead in this fire. According to news coverage, the bodies weren’t discovered until there was a search of the rubble. It’s unclear if the people in the picture knew of the deaths before this image was posted to social media. Even if they weren’t, it shows why fireground selfies just shouldn’t be a thing.

It’s probably been more than a decade since I reported a story in Maryland where a neighbor was asked to take a picture of two firefighters posing in front of a burning home across the street. It was wrong then and it’s wrong now. Every fire department should have a clear policy that says no posing for pictures at incident scenes. Period.


The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is investigating two officers who took a selfie in front of a fatal fire last week.

The photo was posted on one of the individual’s social media. Chief Karianne Thomas tells FOX 17 she instructed the individual to remove the photo and it has been removed.

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