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Department investigating ‘selfie’ taken at Kalamazoo fatal fire

Screen shot of 'selfie' in front of Kalamazoo fire

KALAMAZOO, Mich. – The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety is investigating two officers who took a selfie in front of a fatal fire last week.

The photo was posted on one of the individual’s social media. Chief Karianne Thomas tells FOX 17 she instructed the individual to remove the photo and it has been removed.

The fire started Thursday night in the 700 block of Academy in Kalamazoo.  Friday, the bodies of two people were found in the debris of the house.

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32 comments

  • Philip C Purdy

    What’s the damn problem? I take selfies at work too and fires are not that common, these two probably don’t get to see much action and they’re happy to be part of the effort. I’d celebrate these two passionate and brave women instead of vilify them. That’s the problem with this country, y’all looking for someone to hate on instead of someone to honor and love. Shame on you.

    • Bob

      I am a Firefighter. The concern is that they should’ve been doing something like searching for those people or, oh, I dont know…extinguishing the fire. It helps people who are trapped to survive when people are either looking for them or putting out the fire. Novel idea.

      • Pete

        I don’t whole heartedly agree with you on this. First, looks like they were in rehab. Second, no one was presumed, reported or otherwise missing. The bodies were not found until mop up and investigation the following day. If these two had an assignment then they would’ve been “working “ however, they were clearly in the manpower pool, so big freaked deal. Again, this was not known to be a fatal fire until well into the next day!

        • Firefighters kid

          That’s incorrect, I was listening. They went in knowing people were trapped. What the outcome may have been I will not speculate, but on scene they knew there were people trapped and worked to eventually find the best route in.

  • Tom

    People talking badly of those firefighters are probably the dumbest people to live in this great country. Do you really think they are the first person in the world that took a picture on duty? Open your eyes a little and you’ll notice pretty fast that it happens all the time. They put their life on the line every single day they put on that uniform. I’m sure they didn’t know at that time it was a fatal fire.

      • Joe

        Firefighters, put out fires, not pull their phones out in the middle of an operation. They could be setting up additional lines, assisting in entry, conducting a search and many other things that go on on a working fireground.

        • Pete

          On the foreground, you don’t do squat until command has manpower assign you a task, otherwise it’s called freelancing and there is a lack of accountability. That is how lives are lost. Anyone who is bashing these two and screaming “they should be doing…” are obvious to how the fire ground works.

    • Gabrielle Jordan

      Well very obviously these two arnt putting their life in jeopardy for crap. And giving the firefighters who are actually putting their lives in jeopardy a bad name. To hey need to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the away. It’s a damn shame when my tax money and your tax money is going to people who abuse their job by doing stupid stuff like this. And every single officer, firefighter, emt, etc. That’s horrendous vain stuff like this need to be fired.
      I sure hope u & I never have to put our lives in the hands of these horrendous individuals. I also believe they need to make a public apology to the family, community & firefighters actually doing their job.

    • Sillyoldme

      No excuse for two little girls to stand by in front of a burning structure with goofy little grins on their faces. Shame on them. These are those that give good employees a bad name.
      Give their jobs to those that care.

  • Gabrielle Jordan

    Maybe these two people who died would be alive had these fire fighters been doing their job.
    They should be severely prosecuted. This is an outrage. Just taking it down is in no way sufficient. Need to be fired, and prosecuted, for manslaughter at the very latest

  • Douglas

    What is “Department of Public Safety”? Police? Firefighter? Neither? Looks like neither and a waste of public funding less they are volunteers that do nothing. Maybe this photo is the poster as to why Kalamazoo is making Detroit look like a low crime community.

  • A sane person

    The only thing in that photo pertaining to the word fire should be as it relates to their jobs. Everything wrong with America in one selfie!!!

  • Jay R Roder

    This is total bullshit. These women had no clue there were dead people in this building, or they would never have done this. Everyone needs to lighten up. These 2 run into burning buildings to save people…there are also thousands of selfies of firemen in front of burning structures. If they could take back posting this pic I am certain they would have. Just calm the F down.

  • The black community

    They suppose to be doing a job if a factory worker is caught on the phone taking selfies while they job goes to hell I think they would lose that job but we supposed to feel bad bc it’s 2 white women 😂

  • Vanessa

    The house is clearly on fire why would someone take a selfie of that unless they thought a house being on fire with the possibility of injury or death being involved was funny or cool, those people are obviously jerks

  • Jaynine

    Regardless of what they were supposed to be doing, that is still someone’s home and belongings burning in a fire. To use their tragedy for your selfishness is horrible. If this was your house you would be upset watching anyone, badge or not, smiling for a selfie in front of the fire. And to have to be told to take it down makes it worse. She should have removed it the second she found out lives were lost. I cringe at myself even saying that because the picture shouldn’t have ever happened. And obviously everyone who lives there was not accounted for because they were not all there. The Public Safety personal should have been making calls or questioning neighbors until they were 100% sure there was nobody in there. Aside from the disgrace to KDPS, they should be ashamed of themselves for the disrespect they’ve showed the people that have been devastated by this tragedy.

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