Reporting Terri Lee Sylvester
SHELBY TWP. (WWJ) - Firefighters in Shelby Township were able to successfully rescue several senior citizens who were trapped on the upper floors of their apartment building because of a fire.
The fire broke out Saturday morning at the three-story Shelby Manor senior apartments on Lakeside Boulevard, near Hall Road and Schoenherr Road.
Resident Diane Cirnova told WWJ’s Terri Lee that she heard an explosion, followed by the sound of fire alarms.
“Immediately the elevators quit so we had to go down the stairs, and it was so dark and smokey that you couldn’t breathe,” she said.
Interim Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said the fire broke out near the balcony area on the second floor, which quickly spread to a neighboring apartment and then up to the apartment units on the third floor, engulfing all four units on the inside of the building.
“There were a lot of people we had to get out of the building and probably at least 24 or more that had to be rescued off the second and third floors. Some had to come off the balconies, that’s why you see all the ladder trucks here from our department and other neighboring communities, because we had to utilize those to get them off the third flood balconies, outside of the area where the fire was,” he said.
A resident said she thought her furnace was responsible for the fire, although an official cause has not yet been determined.
“She thought it was her furnace, but we have no confirmation on that. It will be well into this afternoon and this evening before we can get in there and start our investigation,” said Swinkowski.
No injuries were reported. The Salvation Army is helping displaced residents.
An investigation is ongoing.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.