8 rescued from burning Kalamazoo Apartment building

by mobrian on October 6, 2008

Posted with permission from our Friends at WoodTV

By Joe LaFurgey

KALAMAZOO, Mich (WOOD) — Eight people were trapped inside a burning Kalamazoo apartment building early Friday, necessitating a dramatic rescue. The second floor of the apartment building in the 1300 block of Portage Road caught on fire around 12:30 a.m. The fire quickly spread to the third floor. Marreishah Young and her daughters, 10-year-old Teneighah and 8-year-old Tiyahna were sleeping at the time. Teneighah heard pounding at their door.

“I was yelling trying to wake my mom up. Then my mom woke up. And she opened the door, and we were barefoot, and the firemen…we were trying to go back and the firemen we’re like pulling us out of the house,” Teneighhah said.

“The room was full of smoke. And then once they opened the door and we got out in the hallway, it was like…I couldn’t breath, ” said her mother.

Waking the residents up was one part of the firefighters’ effort. Getting them through the thick smoke was another.

“The firefighters carried us through it. They had both my daughters and they had embraced me and stuff,” said Young. “It happened so fast. I mean, all I remember is them coming through the door. I opened the door for them and they carried us through it.”

Other rescuers threw ladders to the third floor and helped more residents down. Twenty-one others were able to escape on their own.

Nobody was hurt. None of the people who were able to escape had renters’ insurance. The American Red Cross is helping them out.

It took crews about 45 minutes to get the fire under control. They were on scene until early in the morning dousing hot spots.

There is no cause yet. Investigators are calling the blaze suspicious. The building is extensively damaged.

Firefighters previously responded to fires at this same building, some in the trash bin or nearby structures. All of them were suspicious.

{ 0 comments… add one now }

Leave a Comment

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: