Family blames firefighters for not finding missing man in blaze

The family of Kevin McGriff Jr., who was found dead days after a fire was extinguished in a home, does not believe firefighters properly searched for him


By FireRescue1 Staff

DETROIT — The family of a man who was found dead in the same home a fire was extinguished in days before is blaming the fire department after it was determined they failed to find him inside.

Click on Detroit reported that the family of Kevin McGriff Jr., who a coroner said died on his father’s kitchen floor after being overcome by smoke, believes he’d still be alive if the Detroit Fire Department had found him.

The family said firefighters did not properly search the home for any victims.

"I'm angry, sad, hurt, disappointed," Kevin McGriff Sr. said.

Firefighters responded to a blaze at McGriff Sr.’s home less than four minutes after they were dispatched, and they found the family dog and cat dead when they went inside the home after putting out the blaze.

The crew returned to the station after clearing the house, but McGriff Jr. was not found for five days.

The family searched homeless shelters in the hopes that McGriff Jr. had escaped and was unable to contact them.  

"You know, I went to the hospital," McGriff Sr. said. "The fire department said it happened about 8:30. They said there wasn't anybody in there. I told them my son was there. So I went back, just started riding around, riding around, calling police stations."

McGriff Jr. was eventually found when family members went inside the home to look for insurance papers, and the family’s lawyer, Sean Burke, said they intend to “find out more.”

"There are a lot of questions that are unanswered,” he said.

The fire department apologized for the incident, and said firefighters are responsible for clearing fire scenes of any victims before leaving.

The family is waiting on results of an independent autopsy to decide if they want to file a lawsuit.

 

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