DETROIT (WWJ) – Two people, including a 10-year-old child, are in critical condition after flames tore through their apartment building on Detroit’s west side.

Fire broke out early Thursday morning at the two-story brick apartment building on Oakman Boulevard at Greenlawn Avenue, just west of I-96.

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A 29-year-old man and 10-year-old boy who were in one of the building’s second-floor units were rushed to the hospital, suffering from severe smoke inhalation. Both were last reported in critical condition.

Que Simmons, who lives in a downstairs apartment, said firefighters were at the scene almost immediately after the fire started spreading.

“They did excellent. They was fast, they got here and they was efficient,” Simmons told WWJ’s Mike Campbell. “The only problem was the fire hydrant didn’t work, so they had to run the water off they trucks but they got it together real quick.”

Simmons said the fire broke out just hours after firefighters were checking hydrants in the neighborhood.

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“They came earlier in the morning, they checked all the fire hydrants, they put ‘bad fire hydrant’ on that one and then we had a fire that night,” he said, pointing to a hydrant that is just feet away from the building. “But they got here fast and they had water on their trucks so they put it out right quick.”

(credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

(credit: Mike Campbell/WWJ Newsradio 950)

Volunteers from the American Red Cross are on the scene to assist residents like Simmons, who now have to find another place to stay.

“It’s been a good place to live, it’s pretty nice,” Simmons said. “I’ll just rebuild, that’s all. I just redid my apartment so I’ll just find some place to go and do something else.”

A cause of the fire is still being investigated, although reports say it may have involved a space heater.

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