SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Firefighters worked all Friday afternoon to extinguish a big blaze after they rescued a man who was trapped in a burning Southfield apartment complex.

The fire broke out at the Carnegie Park Apartments near American Drive, just north of 11 Mile and east of Inkster Rd.

“Black, thick smoke just billowing out into the air here…you can just choke on it and it burns your eyes,” WWJ’s Laura Bonnell reported.

Resident Keith Paul climbs down a ladder to safety. (credit: Laura Bonnell/WWJ)

Resident Keith Paul is rescued by firefighters. (credit: Laura Bonnell/WWJ)

No injuries were reported, but second-floor resident Keith Paul had to climb down a ladder provided by firefighters after he slept through the fire alarms.

It was the smell of smoke that woke him up.

“I opened my door and when I opened my door it was big cloud of smoke and I couldn’t breathe, so I just shut it,” he told Bonnell. “I seen the firetrucks outside and I came out to my deck  and just hollered out for the firemen.”

Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said the fire was contained to one side of the building, and about 16 units are affected.

At 1:30 p.m., fire crews from six departments were still fighting the blaze, as well as going through the complex to sure that no people or pets were still inside.

“This is not under control yet,” Bonnell reported. “A lot of chaos here; a lot of scared people; residents still running around…People walking their dogs, carrying their pets in cages.”

“There’s a lot of people running up, worried about family members,” she added. “We are told by some of the management here that nobody was injured. There’s a girl standing right in front and she is sobbing; so I don’t know if there’s a cat or a pet inside.”

On the scene at Carnegie Park Apartments. (credit: Laura Bonnell/WWJ)

(credit: Laura Bonnell/WWJ)

Representatives from the Salvation Army were on site speaking with displaced residents.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.


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