Fire damages condominium near Huron High School in Ann Arbor
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Editor's note: This amount of damage has been corrected in this article based on new information from firefighters.
A fire caused heavy damage to a condominium unit near Huron High School on the east side of Ann Arbor Tuesday afternoon.
The fire broke out sometime just before 4 p.m. at the Heritage Ridge condominium complex off Huron Parkway north of Geddes Avenue.
Firefighters encountered flames when they entered the building, one of about 15 stand-alone condominiums in the complex. They had the blaze under control within about half an hour but were not able to save it.
Crews were first dispatched to the fire at 3:47 p.m., according to officials.
The Washtenaw-Livingston Chapter of the American Red Cross was assisting the residents, believed to be a couple in their 70s.
Update at 5:44 p.m.
There was light smoke showing when crews from the Ann Arbor Fire Department arrived soon after the initial call came in, Chief Chuck Hubbard said.
"They went to the front door and flames met them there," he added. "They pushed them back. The fire moved really fast because of the high winds."
Around 30 firefighters from Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Pittsfield Township used water on the fire and had it out in about a half hour. Huron Valley Ambulance responded, but no one was transported to the hospital.
"(The tenants) got out OK," Hubbard said. They were being attended to at a nearby condominium unit by Red Cross as fire crews cleared the scene Tuesday evening.
The condo was burned all the way up through the attic and suffered heavy damage to the kitchen, living room and den. Other areas of the home were also damaged. The cause was unknown Tuesday night.
Neighbor Jeanette Carr said she discovered the fire as she was coming home Tuesday evening.
"I turned into my driveway and the owner of this condo next door ran at me and he said they just drove in from Pennsylvania," Carr said. "I guess they drove through (the) storm all day yesterday. He said, 'Our phones are out and my house is on fire.' Indeed, by then it was."
Neighbors and fire officials weren't sure if the couple came straight home from a long trip to find the fire, or if they had gotten home earlier and the fire broke out afterwards. Carr said the couple came home in the "late afternoon."
"We're a very close knit neighborhood," said complex resident Arlene Shy, who shivered alongside Carr outside the condos in low-40s temperatures as they waited for crews to clear the scene because Carr was not yet allowed back in her home. "We all know each other very well and support each other. It's a shock."
Both women were pleased with the rapid response of firefighters.
"I made the 911 call and all the trucks in about four and a half minutes," Carr said. "They got here quickly."