WALLED LAKE (WWJ) – Several people were injured Thursday morning after an explosion at an apartment building in Walled Lake.
Walled Lake Fire Captain Matthew Salow said they received a call in the early morning hours about a fire at a one-story brick apartment building on 14 Mile Road, just west of East Lake Road.
“An explosion occurred sometime this morning. We had heavy fire and several victims on arrival,” Salow told WWJ’s Mike Campbell.
WWJ’s Lance Howard, who was over the scene in the WWJ Chopper, said some of those injured were transported via helicopter. Others were taken by ambulance.
Walled Lake Police Chief Paul Shakinas said it’s “amazing” that only four people were injured in the fully occupied, eight-unit apartment building.
“One of the residents was deaf. The fire department pulled him out and he had no idea what even happened. Obviously, very serious injuries and we’ll see, some of it was upper injuries, facial injuries, so we’ll wait and see,” said Shakinas.
Officials say two 19-year-old males, a 24-year-old male and a 26-year-old female were taken to the hospital, all in very serious condition. They were all in the same unit at the time of the explosion.
“At least four to five units are completely destroyed and damaged. All the rest of the residents at this point that are uninjured have been taken to the Walled Lake City Hall at this time,” said Salow.
Officials are trying to piece together exactly what happened, but damage from the blast is hindering the investigation.
“There’s such heavy damage to the building that we can’t even go actually inside the building,” said Salow.
Nonetheless, Shakinas said they see early indications that natural gas may have caused the explosion.
“We’re going to look and make sure there’s no foul play, but at this point, all indications are accidental and it appears to be a gas explosion,” said Shakinas.
Shakinas also said they were investigating reports of shots fired, which could have been related to the fire. He said assuming that means the heat could have ignited the bullets and the gun discharged, not necessarily that shots were fired from a gun.
Police and fire crews from neighboring Novi, Commerce Township, Woodson and Wolverine Lake assisted Walled Lake crews in the rescue effort.
Sgt. Wesley Beltz of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department said they are monitoring the situation.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.