Taxpayer Fire and Collapse with Mayday in Leslie, Michigan Injures Ten Firefighers

Libby March | Jackson Citizen Patriot A fire was reported just before 7 a.m. in an apartment upstairs from Moo's Bar & Grill, 147 S. Main Street.

Ten firefighters were among 11 people injured during a blaze that caused part of a building’s roof to collapse in the mid-Michigan community of Leslie. Leslie is about 20 miles southeast of Lansing, Michigan.

The fire was reported just before 7 a.m. Saturday at Moo’s Bar & Grille in downtown Leslie, but a “mayday” alert was called at 9:18 a.m. when a patio-type roof atop the building’s first-floor roof fell.

The weight caused the floor to fall in, “sucking” several firefighters down, officials said in a news release. A rescue team was called in to help free the firefighters.

Most of the 11 people injured suffered smoke inhalation and about half were expected to be admitted to Sparrow Hospital’s St. Lawrence campus, hospital.

All were listed in stable condition and none of the injuries were considered life-threatening, according to published reports.

Smoke and flames billowing from a second-floor apartment greeted firefighters when they arrived at the building. A person in that apartment escaped the flames, but suffered smoke inhalation and was among those treated at the hospital.

Leslie City Manager Brian Reed said an upstairs apartment was occupied by one man who escaped. That man was also taken to Sparrow Hospital for treatment of smoke inhalation.

Eight departments responded to the blaze, which turned deadly dangerous when the structure collapsed.

Several firefighters were on the roof when it and the second floor fell into the first floor, sucking the firefighters into the debris, Ott said.

At 9:18 a.m., the trapped firefighters issued mayday calls, during fire suppression operations. A RIT rescue team was deployed to aid of the trapped, freeing them all in 10 to 15 minutes time duration.

No further effort was made to enter the building. Firefighters directed elevated master streams from two ladder trucks to stop fire from spreading to neighboring building exposures.

Seven firefighters were injured in the collapse and the response to it, Ott said. Two more were treated for smoke inhalation and one was hurt in a fall on a layer of ice created by water sprayed on the building.

Injured firefighters came from the Leslie, Delhi Township, Onondaga, and Dansville/Ingham Township fire departments according to additional published reports.

The cause of the fire was under investigation. The building and bar were believed to be a total loss.

Aerial of Main Street and Fire Building

Alpha Side Main Street View from Googlemaps

The Alpha side view from Main Street provides a clear view of the modified first floor facade to accommodate the commercial operations of the occupancy. In buildings of Type III Ordinary construction, upon arrival of companies, focused observations of the alpha side facade are critical to scan for obvious or subtle indications of structural integrity, suspended or compromised loads from signage, overhangs or other decorative attachments.

Usually, significant changes or alterations to the structural support of upper masonry wall in-fill or bearing wall conditions may have been made. Sometimes, multiple changes compounded over the years have occurred that further create unstable and precarious conditions affecting structural integrity and operations. Alterations of the facade’s facing which can include wood, vinyl, stucco or insulations applied coating systems can mask or make it impossible to determine integrity of brick facing and joints through visual observations. The single most critical operational consideration is determining and monitoring the integrity of the altered structural system present that carries the dead load of the entire alpha side upper walls across the modified first floor occupancy.

Firefighters battle a blaze at Moo's Bar & Grill in Leslie, MI (Photo courtesy of Mary Shean; March 26, 2011).

  • Leslie (MI) Fire Department Web Site, HERE
  • Fireground Audio (download)
Click here to download:

Leslie_Rescue.mp3 (4.38 MB)

Audio from Radio Reference,LLC –

Some additional Insight Materials for discussion;

Ordinary and Heavy Timber Constructed Occupancies Training Download


  • National Firefighter Near-Miss Reporting System Operational Safety Considerations at Ordinary and Heavy Timber Constructed Occupancies PowerPoint Program developed by Christopher Naum, HERE  
  • Informational Support Narrative download, HERE
Do you know what to look for upon arrival?
What Building features and factors will affect your operations?
Program Screenshot

Filed Under: Fill the BoxThe Collapse Zone


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