Reporting Ron Dewey
HAZEL PARK (WWJ) – A fire at a Hazel Park apartment complex for seniors killed one person and injured three others.
The fire broke out in the victim’s apartment on the lower level of Woodward Heights Manor on Thursday around 7 a.m., spreading two floors above and damaged nine units in all before firefighters doused the flames.
“The neighbor upstairs across the hall from us, his cats were acting funny and he said he smelled smoke and when he looked out his window he seen all the flames coming up. And then, from what I know after that, he came and knocked on our door and woke us all up. When we came out here, flames were shooting out the window,” said tenant Scott Winwood.
Flames gutted one lower level apartment and two other units directly above it.
“It occurred in the gentleman’s apartment. We’re not sure what time, we’re trying to get a timeline on that from a relative of his. It appears to be, most of his apartment is destroyed and the other ones are obviously damaged from extensions of the fire,” said Fire Chief Ray DeWalt.
Winword said he knew the victim, a man in his 60s who was disabled.
“I was shocked. I mean, everybody’s really nice here,” Winward said. “Everybody watches everybody, talks to everybody. Everybody’s really neighborly.”
Three other people suffered from smoke inhalation. One was taken to the hospital. The others were treated at the scene.
Oakland County Sheriffs and the fire investigation unit are now trying to determine a cause of the fire.