Firefighter falls down steps fighting blaze in vacant Monroe duplex


MONROE -- A firefighter suffered an arm injury in a fall down steps while fighting a blaze in a vacant duplex near downtown Monroe on Wednesday evening.

The firefighter is being treated at Mercy Memorial Hospital in Monroe, said Monroe Fire Lt. Brent Newsom.

The duplex suffered extensive fire damage on the first floor and smoke and water damage on the second floor.

About 17 emergency responders from Monroe and Frenchtown Township were called to 326 N. Monroe St. at 8:36 p.m. Their biggest challenge was the layout of the building, said Lieutenant Newsom, explaining that the large home, which appeared to date to about the 1920s, had been divided into many small rooms as a duplex.

The building had been purchased recently at a county tax auction and the new owners were renovating it, the fire lieutenant said. He said he did not have an estimate of the fire's damage, but predicted that the cost of repairs might be more than the value of the building.

About two blocks of Monroe Street were closed for about 2.5 hours. Firefighters left the scene at 11:25 p.m.