HURON TOWNSHIP, MI – On Tuesday September 10th , 2019 at 5:21p.m., The Huron Township Department Dispatch Operations Center received a 911 call regarding a structure fire in the 21000 block of Huron River Drive.
The structure fire was reported by a neighbor in the area who observed smoke coming from the residence. The Huron Township Fire Department responded to the scene along with the Officers with the Huron Township Police Department. Emergency responders were on the scene within four minutes and were able to quickly extinguish multiple fires within the residence and garage areas.
Upon making the initial entry into the residence, emergency responders observed a large amount of fresh fire accelerants throughout the residence. Several weapons were also observed and doors to the residence appeared to be barricaded within the residence.
“Once inside the residence and after observing several indicators of obstacles that could potentially be dangerous to our staff, a decision was made to have our first responders take tactical positions. This decision was made not only to ensure their safety, but also the safety of nearby neighbors. Our top priority was to make sure everyone remained safe.” -Everette Robbins, Director of Public Safety
Huron Township Police Officers immediately set up a perimeter around the residence. Neighbors were asked to shelter in place. Huron River Drive was closed between King and West Roads. Multiple Huron Township Police and Fire Staff were contacted while off duty and responded immediately to the scene to assist with this incident. DTE was contacted and shut down service in the immediate area.
“The teamwork that occurred throughout this emergency situation was incredible. Our Dispatch Staff, Firefighters and Police Officers unselfishly responded to the scene while they were off duty. All hands were on deck and both of our public safety departments were all in to ensure the safety of our residents.” -Director Robbins
Due to the accelerants throughout the residence, along with the possibility of having an armed barricaded subject inside the residence, The Michigan State Police Bomb Squad and Emergency Support Team (SWAT) based out of the MSP Special Operations Division were contacted and assisted with this incident. For several hours, the Bomb Squad Robots examined the residence in an attempt to identify any potential threats within the residence.
“I am very appreciative for the assistance of the Michigan State Police. They responded with two robots to assist us with assessing the threat level inside the residence. The robots were beneficial to limit the human interaction with potential threats and ensure that our first responders make it home safely. The work of these robots ultimately gave us the confidence that we could enter the home safely and come to a resolution to this incident.” -Director Robbins
At approximately 12:30a.m., Huron Township Officers along with the Michigan State Police Emergency Support Team made entry into the residence in an attempt to locate the occupant of the residence. Shortly after entry, the 76-year-old male homeowner was located inside the residence deceased. The initial cause of death appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out this this man’s family. I am not sure we will ever know the deceased’s individual’s true intentions or reasoning for this incident.” -Director Robbins
The Huron Township Police Department Detective Bureau and Evidence Tech Team conducted an investigation at the crime scene in partnership with the Huron Township Police Department Arson Investigator. Multiple weapons, along with fire accelerants, were located within the residence. The investigation is ongoing. The deceased male was turned over to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office pending an autopsy. The 76-year-old male is not being identified at this time pending the notification of out of town family members.
The Huron Township Fire Department and Huron Valley Ambulance remained on the scene throughout the incident to monitor and treat first responders.
“This incident could have had a much different outcome. We are very fortunate to have such dedicated and well-trained Dispatch, Fire and Police Departments. At the end of the day, we only had a couple officers sustain minor injuries. Again, I am proud of both the teamwork and leadership that I witnessed. This teamwork includes the residents who were displaced from their homes. We appreciated the patience showed by the neighbors affected by this incident and the confidence the community had in us to bring this to a safe conclusion.” -Director Robbins
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