Engine 23 fire fighter dies in vacant building fire
On Saturday November 15, 2008 close to 5 am, Engine 23, Squad 3, and the other units of the first alarm assignment responded to a working fire on Sheridan street. The dilapidated house had a working fire on the second floor which was initially knocked down by the engines deck gun. Water Harris and his crew entered the structure and began to fight the fire. Crews reported they heard a crackling sound in the attic, which was followed by the collapse of the building.
Several crew members made it out of the building, but the heavy wood trapped Harris. RIT was put into place and fire fighters on the scene worked to free him. Unfortunately, Harris died and four others were injured. Harris was due to be promoted next week to the rank of Sergeant (according to the free press).
A Detroit spokesperson stated, the cause of the fire is under investigation and investigators worked all day Saturday to determine the cause. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Detroit fire department and the Harris Family. As more details become available we will let you know.