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Firefighters Battle Royal Oak House Fire in Bitter Cold

With the temperature hovering around zero degrees, ROFD firefighters respond to a blaze on the city's north side.

A Royal Oak home was extensively damaged during a fire near 13 Mile and Rochester roads Tuesday morning.

"The residents of the single family home were not there when the fire started," said Chief Chuck Thomas of the Royal Oak Fire Department. "It's possible a dog and a cat were inside the house."

The Tuesday fire was reported at approximately 8 a.m. in the 700 block of Midland. Bitter cold temperatures presented challenges for firefighters, according to Thomas.

"It can take a lot longer when the temperature is zero," said Thomas. "There was a lot of ice. It was dangerous."

Thomas thanked the Department of Public Service for responding with salt and other ice-clearing operations to keep the ground condition around the house safe for firefighters and pedestrians. He also thanked Royal Oak police for standing by and offering assistance.

"The best thing was two people stopped by and dropped off coffee," Thomas said. "It was really cold, so that was a very nice thing to do."

Mayor Jim Ellison had an opportunity to talk to and thank firefighters still on the scene.

"We in the City of Royal Oak are extremely fortunate to have a devoted workforce that is willing to step in and do what is necessary to protect not only our city, but their colleagues as well," Ellison wrote on Facebook. "We should all offer thanks to these men and women that keep our city safe and secure."

The fire remains under investigation by the Royal Oak Fire Department.

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