SOUTHFIELD (WWJ) – Investigators brought in heavy equipment Monday in an effort to find the cause of a devastating apartment fire that displaced a few dozen Southfield singles and families.

Backhoes and excavators are being used to meticulously demolish what’s left of a building Carnegie Park Apartments, on 11 Mile near Inkster Rd., after 20 of the 40 units were destroyed.

Back on Feb, 3, firefighters worked all afternoon to extinguish the big blaze after they rescued a man who was trapped on the second floor.

More than a month later, sparked the blaze remains a mystery.

“We’re going to start pulling the building apart to get the cause of the fire, hopefully, and that’s probably going to take a little bit, but we’re gonna do it a little at a time and try to get to the bottom of it,” said Southfield Fire Marshall Jim Dundas.

He told WWJ’s Vickie Thomas it’s a dangerous endeavor.

“That’s the reason that we have the heavy equipment here today. So the cranes and backhoes are going to be taking pieces of the building off and we’re going to take a look at those at a safe location to try to find the cause of the fire.”

While no people were injured, displaced resident Ellen George said she lost two cats in the fire.

She wasn’t home when it happened and blames apartment management for failing to see that her pets were rescued.

“Nor did they ask, even though it was clearly on my lease, whether or not there were pets in the apartment. So, they mismanaged it,” George said. “That was just, you know, the culmination of a long string of mismanagement on their part. Not handling maintenance requests, spending their time doing things like planning ugly Christmas sweater parties and win tastings when indeed there was more that was needed.”


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