GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Eight residents escaped their residences after a fire sparked inside an apartment home in Grand Rapids.
Firefighters were dispatched around 5:15 a.m. Monday to a two-story building in the 900 block of Bridge Street NW.
Some residents at the scene told 24 Hour News 8 that they awoke to firefighters banging on their doors, alerting them to the fire.
Neighboring residents were evacuated as the flames started to spread. Authorities blocked the area, which contained a lot of heavy, thick smoke, south of I-196 and near Lane Avenue.
The firefighters used a defensive effort and backed away as the roof collapsed.
It took about three hours to douse the flames, but 24 Hour News 8 noticed hot spots flaring up later in the morning.
The fire is believed to have started in a first-floor kitchen, GRFD Lt. Dan VanderHyde told 24 Hour News 8. A precise cause has not yet been determined.
Three of the six apartments in the residence sustained fire damage. Officials told 24 Hour News 8 a wrecking crew will likely have to demolish the building due to the extensive damage, though there is not yet a dollar estimate attached to it.
At least 12 people were displaced by the fire, according to GRFD, but none of them were hurt. The American Red Cross is providing food, clothing and lodging for the affected residents.
GRFD said Monday afternoon it was still interviewing residents, but had not yet talked to everyone.
One resident, Lydia Ross, is six months pregnant and told 24 Hour News 8 she lost all of her belongings in the fire.
“I don't care about my stuff, but my baby's stuff is very valuable to me,” she said.
Ross lives with her mother and is new to the area.
“We don't have any family support here. It's just me and my mom," she said. “We woke up out of our sleep smelling smoke, and all I heard when the smoke was coming was boom, boom, boom, and it was the officer trying to get us out."
Another resident, Sam Persons, said all of the occupants are like family.
“Everybody got along really good in that apartment complex…especially in the summer time. Everybody gets together,” he said.
Residents said they are ready to move forward and they're grateful that they all made it out of the fire.
“I’m fortunate and so are the other people,” said Persons.
“I'm gonna stay prayed up, and Lord will's everything will be alright,” said Ross.
Initial reports indicate smoke alarms were working properly, GRFD said.
GRAM Christmas Tree Lighting ceremony in front of a festive downtown crowd at Rosa Parks Circle Friday night.
Two people were taken to the hospital after one vehicle crossed the center line, causing a head-on crash in Ada Township Friday night.
Investigators in Montcalm County are working to determine what led up to a deadly crash.