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Flint deputy fire chief retires; firefighter in Pulaski probe gets new job in Bay City

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Carrie Edwards-Clemons

Carrie Edwards-Clemons

FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - A former Flint firefighter who was disciplined after a fire where two young children died has a new job with another department in Mid-Michigan.

The firefighter resigned from the Flint Fire Department earlier this month. While he has a new job, another high-ranking official with the department is leaving, as the deputy chief has announced her retirement.

Carrie Edwards-Clemons said she is retiring, but her departure has nothing to do with what has happened over the past several months regarding the Flint Fire Department.

Edwards-Clemons has been with the Flint Fire Department since 1999 and became deputy chief in 2018. She announced Wednesday that she is officially retiring.

"I hesitated to retire because I did not want the residents to think it was with regards to current activities," Edwards-Clemons wrote. "I have opportunities that I am just now able to explore because I am able to retire with benefits. I am so excited about upcoming opportunities, and I wish the department well and pray for the healing of our community."

Her retirement comes a week after former Flint Fire Chief Ray Barton said he was fired.

Barton wanted to fire two Flint firefighters who were at the Pulaski Street home in May, where an initial search of the home found no one inside. Minutes later, two boys, Zyaire and Lamar Mitchell, were found upstairs.

They were rushed to the hospital but died days later.

Both firefighters eventually resigned. The Bay City Department of Public Safety confirmed it has hired one of those firefighters, Michael Zlotek.

"We did a very thorough background investigation. We didn't find where he did anything wrong to eliminate him from the hiring process. We think he has a history of being an excellent firefighter and we are happy to have him," said Bay City Public Safety Director Caleb Rowell.

He said Bay City officials asked Barton about Zlotek during the interview process. Rowell said his department also looked into what happened at the Pulaski Street fire.

"Based on the overall view of the background investigation, we don't see where he did anything wrong," Rowell said.

A spokesperson for the city of Flint said interim Fire Chief Theron Wiggins would not have a comment on Edwards-Clemons' retirement or Zlotek's new job on Friday.

Anchor/Reporter

Terry Camp anchors ABC12 News First at Four and ABC12 News at 5:30. He also reports on issues in the Great Lakes Bay Region.

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