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Man injured as fire downs wire in Detroit

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit — A man standing outside a block away was shocked when a wall collapsed during a fire in a vacant building on the city’s west side and knocked down electrical wires.

The blaze, at a commercial building at 1689 W. Grand Blvd. at Cobb, began about 3:26 p.m. Sunday. Firefighters from fire station Squad 4 next door battled the blaze for about two hours, said John King, chief of Fire Operations for the Detroit Fire Department.

It was one of two fires within minutes of each other Sunday afternoon. At 3:34 p.m., nine cars caught fire at Gratiot and Madison when an electrical wire fell atop the cars.

In the building fire, a man who was outdoors about a block away sustained injuries to his legs and neck when he came in contact with the live, downed wire, King said. He was transported to a local hospital, where his condition was unknown.

The acrid smell spread through the area as fire crews battled the blaze in vacant building. A cloud of gray smoke spread over the freeway as cars slowed to maneuver through the dense patch.

Meanwhile, nine cars were involved in a fire Sunday afternoon near Greektown, according to the Detroit fire officials.

There were no injuries in the car fires, fire officials said.

“A downed power line energized four cars and the ground around them, causing the fire,” said John King, chief of Fire Operations for the Detroit Fire Department. He said he did not know if all four cars sustained damage.

“I believe the cars were in a parking lot at the time,” said King.

SLewis@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2296