Fire at former Consumers Energy building; six demolition workers rescued

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fireJACKSON, MICHIGAN  –  As black smoke billowed out the old Consumers Energy building on Friday afternoon, the heads of six men trapped inside could be seen in broken out windows.

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.

“We are very appreciative of that,” Heins said of the departments responding quickly. “Once we got the people out, which was our primary focus, we could start fighting the fire.”

The fire was located on the third or fourth floor, Heins said, and appears to have started in a pile of debris. Heins said it didn’t spread beyond the debris. It is still unclear what caused the debris to catch fire.



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