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In what is being described by Deputy Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson as a “freak accident”. a Detroit firefighter fell through an attic floor at a house fire and ended up being impaled by the business end of a six-foot pike pole.
Jackson said 33-year-old Adam Mlinarich was crawling through the attic of a home on the 4000 block of McGraw, near Livernois and Warren, checking for hot spots when the floor gave way. It was just before 6 p.m., and firefighters were nearly finished putting out a fire at the house.
Another firefighter was standing on the floor below with a pike pole, a fiberglass tool that is a little larger in diameter than a broomstick and topped a metal hook and sharp point.
Jackson said as Mlinarich fell, his face struck the top of the 6-foot pole.
“It went through his left cheek and impacted his jaw,” Jackson said, with the top three or four inches going through his cheek. No one else was injured at the scene.
Jackson said Mlinarich was taken to Henry Ford Hospital and is in stable condition. He said he was hopeful that he would be able to go home Friday morning.
Adam Mlinarich fell face first onto an instrument called a pike pole, which is a long metal-topped pole with a hooked end. It’s used to search for fires behind walls and ceilings, and a fellow firefighter was using the instrument on the floor beneath Mlinarich.
The pike pole pierced Mlinarich’s cheek, broke his jaw and knocked out several of his teeth. Mlinarich’s jaw will likely have to be wired shut for a couple months.
Mlinarich underwent surgery at Henry Ford Hospital Friday afternoon.
Mlinarich’s father, Mike, a retired battalion chief, says he’s relieved the pole didn’t strike his son’s eye or temple. He also had a conversation with his son who told him they respond to fires just like this two or three times a day, and that something was bound to happen.
Also on STATter911 …
- Early raw video & radio traffic: Garage fire with electrical hazard in Rochelle Park, NJ. – September 1, 2013
- Mayday radio traffic: Three-alarm fire in Boston with two maydays. Six firefighters hurt. One resident dead. – April 28, 2013
- Raw video: Bringing home the bacon in Colorado. 700 pound pig rescued from hole. – November 26, 2012
- Pre-arrival video: House fire in Ansonia, CT. – September 26, 2013
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