When Wyandotte's water supply started to get low Sunday night, emergency crews didn't have to look far for the assistance needed to help at .
All they had to do was look to the rear of the building at the Detroit River.
"People talk about the water in the Detroit River, but it worked to our advantage this time," Wyandotte Mayor Joseph Peterson said. "It’s going to help save blocks of our city. Having the water was a plus."
Using large 5-inch lines, Brownstown firefighters pumped water in from the Detroit River to battle the blaze from the rear of the building.
The Detroit Fire Department also sent in its fire boat to pump water from the river onto the blaze.
Senior Chief Mike Gallo of the Detroit Fire Department said this was the first time in his 40 years on the job that he knew of the fire boat coming to the aid of a Downriver community.
And what timing.
The boat was out of service and was just put back in last week, he said. Because it's working off just a single motor, it took about a half-hour for the boat to make its way down the river and into Wyandotte.
Once here, though, it proved pivotal by pumping water through 5-inch lines to two platforms, and then to the aerial trucks.
"The problem with the fire is that after all the water was put on it, the roof collapsed, making it even more difficult to fight the fire," Gallo said.
A brick firewall helped contain the blaze to the single building, he said. On past runs, he said, he's seen cases where fire will make its way through holes in the brick and into other adjacent buildings.
Merchandise is another matter, however. Smoke and water damage to several neighboring businesses could be severe. More will be known once the owners get inside to survey the damage.
David Hall, owner of , has already made that trip and it wasn't a good one.
"All my merchandise is a total loss," he said.