Reporting Mike Campbell
DETROIT (WWJ) – A Detroit family can thank a fast-acting neighbor for saving their lives Friday morning during a house fire.
WWJ’s Mike Campbell reports the fire happened during the early morning hours on Hampshire Street, near I-94 and Harper area on the city’s east side.
Al Baze said he woke up around 5 a.m. to neighborhood children banging on his door, saying their house was on fire and their mother and grandmother were trapped inside.
“You can’t be prepared for this, I’ll tell you that. It was just something else. It was scary,” he said.
Baze quickly sprang into action and rushed to the house across the street. He said the smoke was so thick, he couldn’t see his hands in front of his face.
Crawling around on the floor and using his hands as his eyes, Baze got past the couch and end tables before he ran into the children’s mother. She guided Baze to the hospital bed her mother was in.
“You just do what you’ve got to do. I had to get her off that bed, I had to get her out of that house. It was taking so long to get her out of there and that was my main concern, because that smoke was so thick, I had to run out of the house like 15 times just to get air and go back in and feel my way to her,” Baze said.
Eventually, Baze was able to free the grandmother and remove her from the house. He had to go back into the house, however, because the children’s mother passed out while trying to help Baze save her mother.
“The lights were all out and the smoke was very thick. So, she passed out in the house so I had to go back in and grab the mom and pull her out,” Baze said.
Everybody was able to make it out of the house, which was left standing although the inside is heavily damaged.
The mother, grandmother and four kids — ages three to 16 — were transported to a local hospital as a precaution, but are expected to be okay.
While the fire appears to have started in the basement, officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation.