By Ron Dewey

DETROIT (WWJ) – More than a dozen people have been burned out of their homes following a fire on Detroit’s west side.

Authorities said the fire started in an abandoned building around 1 a.m. Thursday before jumping to two other structures, including a six-story apartment building on Fullerton and Lawton streets.

Along with the flames, firefighters battled low water pressure, crumbling walls and a ruptured gas line in the basement of one of the buildings.

Officials said they called in warming buses and requested assistance from the American Red Cross to help displaced residents like Barbara Norris and her children. Norris told WWJ’s Ron Dewey the fire has forced her family to the streets, with nowhere else to turn.

“Now we’ve got to find somewhere to go. We don’t have anywhere to go, nowhere. No money to move, nowhere, no nothing, no way to load up a car to move the little stuff that you got, nothing,” she said.

Officials said luckily, no one was injured in the fire, which may have been started by squatters trying to keep warm.

Nearby resident Joseph Topp said he could smell smoke from the fire quite a distance away.

“I smelled the fire and I thought my car was on fire or something. So, I’m driving through the neighborhood, I was probably about three or four streets over, and I just smell like real think smoke. I happen to have a friend who stays right there so I came over to see what happened and seen all the trucks,” he said.

An official cause of the fire has yet to be determined.


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