DETROIT (WWJ) – Eight people, including five children and a firefighter, were taken to the hospital after an apartment building on Detroit’s west side caught fire overnight.
The fire initially took off around 12 a.m. Wednesday in the basement of a complex on Glendale and Woodrow Wilson streets, near the Lodge Freeway and the Davison. Firefighters were called back to the scene hours later, around 3 a.m., when the fire rekindled.
“When we arrived there was heavy fire on all the floors,” Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell told WWJ’s Sandra McNeill. “The fire got in the walls and it got up in the attic area. They had quite a time chasing the fire down.”
Most residents escaped from the 12-unit building without harm, but not everyone was as lucky. Two people were trapped inside their home and forced to jump from a third-story window. Both were taken to the hospital after suffering “impact injuries” during their escape.
Five children were taken to the hospital for observation; at least one suffered smoke inhalation.
A firefighter was also taken to the hospital after suffering burns to his neck and face. He was treated and released.
Conditions of those hospitalized are unknown.
Temperatures were below zero at the time, which complicated firefighting efforts.
“The problem in weather like this is the effect of the cold and of course you just can’t help but getting wet when you aggressively tackle fire,” said Fornell. “So you’ve got the firefighters that are inside the building, they’re not only feeling the effects of the fire, the heat and the smoke, but then when you come out of it, it just batters your body with that cold temperature. It tends to slow the operation down a bit.”
An official cause of the fire remains under investigation, but officials say it appears to be electrical in nature.
Stay with WWJ Newsradio 950 and CBSDetroit.com for the latest.