Monday, June 4, 2007

Firefighter Stephen Bissett - Yale/Brockway FDs

June 04, 2007: Firefighter Stephen Bissett, Yale / Brockway Fire Departments Brockway Fire Department

Firefighter in standoff is placed on leave
Man arraigned on domestic violence, weapons charges
Port Huron Times Herald, MI
Times Herald
Wed, Jun 6 2007

BROCKWAY TWP. - A member of the Yale and Brockway Township fire departments has been placed on administrative leave after a police standoff early Sunday morning.

Stephen Bissett, 32, was arraigned Monday on charges of first-offense domestic violence, reckless discharge of a gun and possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol

All of the charges are misdemeanors. If convicted, he faces a maximum 93 days in jail. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for June 11 in St. Clair County District Court.

Yale City Manager John Osborn confirmed Tuesday that Bissett has been placed on leave. He said city officials will review details of the case before making a determination about possible disciplinary action.

"We'll take a look at that and see if anything should be involved in terms of discipline," Osborn said.

St. Clair County sheriff deputies were called about 1:40 a.m. Sunday to the 7800 block of Jorden Road for a report of a drunken man threatening his girlfriend and threatening to shoot animals at her farm.

After arriving on the scene, deputies were able to get Bissett's girlfriend and her three children out of the house, but he refused to leave, police said.

A special-response team negotiator talked Bissett out of the home more than an hour later. He then was arrested.

Don Priess, chief of the Brockway and Yale fire departments, said Bissett is a paid, on-call volunteer for the Yale Fire Department. He is a volunteer for the Brockway Township Fire Department.

Bissett has been with each department for about a year, previously serving as Sandusky firefighter.

Priess said he and other firefighters learned of the situation Sunday morning when dispatchers alerted the departments to an emergency situation in their coverage area

Bissett phoned fellow firefighters from inside the house, Priess said, and they repeatedly urged him to turn himself in to the police. The man didn't immediately do so, Priess said, because he was worried about what the police would do to him.

Priess said he and other firefighters support Bissett and, once the situation is resolved, would like him to stay with the department.


It appears that Stephen Bissett is still with the Fire Department:

Tragedy strikes family again

Fire destroys home

Staff Writer

2013-02-04 / Front Page

BROCKWAY TWP. — A family already touched by tragedy is suffering more heartache after losing their home to a five-alarm fire Friday night.

The single-story house of Jack and Debbie Derouin, who lost their 17- year-old son Devon in a hunting accident last fall, was a total loss even though firefighters from five area fire departments battled the flames for hours to save it.

Brockway Township Fire Chief Dave Fredrick said the Jan. 25 fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. as the family was cooking French fries in the kitchen at the home in the 6000 block of Welch Road.

He said the grease fire lashed up and quickly took off.

“Me and the fire captain (Steve Bissett) were out there before the fire trucks arrived, and within seconds, it went from a possible structure fire to full flames,” Fredrick said. “We knew it wasn’t good. They got out with the clothes they had on.

“The biggest burn area was in the middle of the house,” he continued. “It burned right through the roof and there’s nothing left of it.”

Fredrick said four to five people were able to escape the blaze, but Jack Derouin did have both hands wrapped for minor burns.

Besides Brockway Township, fire departments from Speaker, Kenockee, Emmett and Mussey townships responded to the fire. Fredrick said nearly 40,000 gallons of water from the City of Yale’s hydrants were used to extinguish the flames.

Fredrick, who has consoled the Derouins before, said firefighters made a special effort to find the family’s personal treasures including the urn containing the ashes of their late son.

“That was one of the things we tried to save,” he said. “They really wanted the urn. Me and the guys were digging like dogs until 5 a.m. Saturday. We did manage to find the top of the urn, but that was it.”

The Derouins’ son had been scouting for deer on property in the 12000 block of Wilkes Road on Sept. 20 around 7:30 p.m. when he was killed by a hunter’s bullet. Devon’s death was the only fatality during the 2012 hunting season, according to the Michigan DNR (see story on page 11).

The hunter, Jeremiah Bedwell, 24, of Port Huron Township, was sentenced to 11 months in the county jail with work release for carelessly discharging a firearm resulting in death.

Fredrick said the story does has a happy ending after firefighters recovered heirloom jewelry that Debbie Derouin had hidden in the floor of the home.

“She made a hole in the floor and covered it with plywood,” Fredrick said. “I told her that it was probably gone. We moved the plywood and underneath were three or four boxes of (her grandmother’s jewelry). It meant a lot to save that.”

Fredrick said the community has rallied behind the family with generous amounts of support.

“The word — with technology — didn’t take long to spread,” he said. “People started giving food, clothing, money, gift certificates. It was neat to watch. People in this town really step up when something like this happens. It’s the talk of the town about how they can help. It hits close to home for all of us.”


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