Authorities: 1 dead after senior housing fire

AP News
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Posted: Sep 15, 2014 12:50 PM
Authorities: 1 dead after senior housing fire

ALLEN PARK, Mich. (AP) — One person was found dead and several others were injured after a fire at a suburban Detroit senior citizen housing complex where some residents were found hanging out of second-floor windows before being rescued by firefighters on ladders.

Six to 12 people were taken to hospitals following the fire at the two-story Leo Paluch complex in Allen Park, Fire Chief Doug LaFond said. LaFond's mother was among the people rescued by ladder, he said.

Authorities didn't release the name or cause of death for the person found dead or the conditions of those taken from the scene.

Jeannette Bazinet, 63, told The Detroit News that she was about the get out of bed when she heard someone running door to door yelling "fire, fire."

"I grabbed my dog, I grabbed my purse and out the door I went," Bazinet said.

In all, authorities said more than 60 people were evacuated following the roughly 5 a.m. fire. The complex filled with smoke during the fire, making it difficult for those inside to see. The fire had been extinguished by later Monday morning. The cause was under investigation.

LaFond said the fire crews that responded "saved a lot of lives." Some people were removed from the complex in wheelchairs or on stretchers.

The building had doors designed to prevent the spread of fire on each apartment that were installed about two years ago, preventing the fire from spreading more, the Detroit Free Press reported. The Salvation Army was called to assist as officials worked to line up housing for those displaced by the fire.

Worried family members, including Debbie Blalock, rushed to the complex.

"It was very scary," Blalock told The News as her 84-year-old mother, Flo Wallace, sat nearby in a library, where some residents went for shelter.