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GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - A man who lived in an adult care home that was damaged in an overnight fire was badly burned while attempting to douse the flames, the home's director told 24 Hour News 8.
The victim, a man in his 30s, lived in the room where the fire started Monday night at the Villa Rose adult care facility at 1355 Walker Ave. NW. He received second- and third-degree burns while apparently trying to put the fire out.
"We're praying for him, and hopefully he'll have a good recovery," said James Miller, the Villa Rose director.
Firefighters had not released a cause as of Tuesday afternoon, but Miller said he suspects careless smoking may have played a role. He added that the injured man and his roommate were both known smokers.
Villa Rose provides home for 14 mentally disabled people who might not otherwise have a place to go.
"We feed 'em here and they get their medication," Miller said. "A lot of landlords and other housing providers don't want to provide for them because they are very difficult at times."
Miller said the home is insured, but it may take a few months to have repairs completed. He said he's helping residents find other homes in the meantime.
It's been an especially difficult couple of days for the Villa Rose community, Miller said. A longtime resident of the home unexpectedly died Monday.
Firefighters said smoke detectors in the home were in working order and helped to alert sleeping residents to the fire.
"Especially since a lot of them were in bed sleeping when the fire broke out and a lot of them are on some pretty heavy medication," Miller said. "The fact that they were able to get them up and get them out of the building without any further injury to me is a godsend."
Donations to the facility can be sent to Shepherds of Independence at P.O. Box 140705, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
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