Autistic Detroiter dies after becoming trapped in burning home - FOX 32 News Chicago

Autistic Detroiter dies after becoming trapped in burning home

Posted: Updated:

By Amy Lange
Fox 2 News


DETROIT (WJBK) -- 30-year-old Tony Mitchell, a cherished son, autistic and trapped inside his burning home on Kentfield in the Brightmoor neighborhood on the city's west side.  He had awakened his mother, Beatrice, around 2:30 Friday morning to tell her there was smoke in the house.

"She got up, tried to get them both out of the house, but he had to use the bathroom and somehow got caught in the bathroom," said Ronnie Griffin.

He said his nephew saved his mother's life, but because of his special needs he could not save his own.  His mother and neighbors sure tried.

Neighbor Richard Bryant grabbed a shovel, ran across the street and started knocking out windows trying to get to Tony, but he just couldn't reach him.

There were no fire trucks, at least not for a few minutes when every second counted, even though Engine 57 is just six blocks away, a two minute response time.  It was closed for the day due to the city's financial problems.  Instead Ladder 26 and Engine 54 had to come from two miles away still making it in an impressive four minutes, but it was too late.  They tried to find Tony, but couldn't locate him until they put the fire out.

"Within a half a mile of the station, we have 2,000 students and three schools.  We've got 28 churches," said Peter Lisiecki.

He also explained that within a mile and a half of Engine 57 are 50,000 residents and 400 businesses.

Lisiecki is with a coalition of community activists who met with the fire commissioner before the holidays to try to convince him to reopen Engine 57 full time.  It's clearly a matter of life and death.

"This fatality shows about how urgent the matter is," Lisiecki said.  "We can't afford to wait."

We heard from the commissioner that the cause of the fire appears to be electrical.

  • Amy LangeMore from Amy LangeMore>>

  • Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:24:37 GMT
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
  • Man found dead in Redford after leaving nearby pool party

    Man found dead in Redford after leaving nearby pool party

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-07-24 02:52:24 GMT
    A 24-year-old man was shot and left to die in a Redford neighborhood. He was killed after leaving a late night pool party.
    A 24-year-old man was shot and left to die in a Redford neighborhood. He was killed after leaving a late night pool party.
  • Mother upset after her son was able to purchase stun guns online

    Mother upset after her son was able to purchase stun guns online

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-07-23 22:09:33 GMT
    A stun gun is dangerous and illegal - and in the hands of a young teen there's no telling what could have happened.
    A stun gun is dangerous and illegal - and in the hands of a young teen there's no telling what could have happened.
  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Benefit for injured Grosse Pointe Police officer

    Friday, July 25 2014 11:24 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:24:37 GMT
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
    48-year-old Keith Andersen retired in February from the Grosse Pointe Police Department. On June 21, he was involved in a roll over accident where he suffered a broken neck. As of now Keith has no movement in his the lower half of his body. The Fraternal Order of Police, Grosse Pointe Lodge 102 is holding a fundraiser for Keith on Aug 5th. Amy Lange will have a full report on Fox 2 News at 5:00 p.m.
  • Teenager's body discovered in wooded area in Armada

    Teenager's body discovered in wooded area in Armada

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:37 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:37:19 GMT
    Police in Armad Township tell Fox 2's Roop Raj that the body of a 14-year-old female teen has been found in a wooded area near a recreational trail in the Macomb County village of Armada.
    Police in Armad Township tell Fox 2's Roop Raj that the body of a 14-year-old female teen has been found in a wooded area near a recreational trail in the Macomb County village of Armada.
  • Judge rules Warren Evans can stay on the ballot

    Judge rules Warren Evans can stay on the ballot

    Friday, July 25 2014 10:16 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:16:52 GMT
    A judge ruled Friday, Warren Evans will stay on the August primary ballot for Wayne County Executive.
    A judge ruled Friday, Warren Evans will stay on the August primary ballot for Wayne County Executive.
Powered by WorldNow

205 N. Michigan Avenue
Ground Floor
Chicago, IL 60601
Station Operator: (312) 565-5532
Newsroom: (312)565-5533

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices