Fire official: Apartment resident's attempt to extinguish kitchen fire spread flames
A resident's attempt to extinguish a cooking fire Monday accidentally spread the flames, resulting in a blaze that heavily damaged several apartments and displaced 11 families, a fire officials said.
Captain Brad Johnson said the resident at the Schooner Cove apartments in Ypsilanti Township returned to the kitchen Monday afternoon and saw a grease fire had started in a dish cooking on the stove.
Joe Tobianski | AnnArbor.com
Johnson said the resident sprayed the grease fire with a fire extinguisher, but it only spread the blaze, causing the apartment to go up in flames. The fire quickly spread to the second and third floors of the building, causing major damage that displaced 11 families.
Kelly Gorski, associate director of operations for McKinley Properties, said Tuesday the company is working with the affected residents to see what they want to do about their future housing. McKinley is willing to put the residents up in another company apartment in the area; however, all the other apartments in the area are filled at the moment, she said.
The fire broke out just before 1 p.m. Monday at the apartment complex, off Huron River Drive near Tuttle Hill Road. The fire was contained to one building but burned through much of the second and third floors. No one was injured in the blaze and all the pets in the building survived, including two cats rescued by an Ann Arbor firefighter.Ypsilanti Township Fire Chief Eric Copeland said at the scene of the fire Monday the blaze started in a second or third floor apartment. Investigators were set to do more work Tuesday morning before being called to a house fire on Ohio Avenue, where two people escaped a burning home.
American Red Cross spokeswoman Allison Koenigbauer said 11 families ended up getting immediate supplies of food and clothing after the fire destroyed much of building 5086 Monday afternoon. Seven families were put up in hotels overnight, and Koenigbauer said officials from the Red Cross are meeting with them Tuesday to see what else they need.
“I’m not sure if we’re providing another night for those folks as of yet,” she said. “We’re following up with the others in the next couple of days to assess the situation and see how they’re doing. If they need more assistance, we can refer them to other agencies.”
Initial reports from the Red Cross stated the fire displaced 12 families. That number was amended in a statement Tuesday morning.
Koenigbauer said the Red Cross provided clothing, coats, hats and other immediate clothing needs to the families who were affected by the fire. In addition, those affected were given the means to purchase a few days' worth of food.
Gorski said some of the residents displaced by the fire may choose to look elsewhere for new housing, but there are a few who are going to stay with family and friends until they can find a new apartment in the Schooner Cove complex.
“Some people are willing to stay with friends and family until they can move back in,” she said.
Gorski urged anyone interested in donating items to those affected by the blaze to drop off canned food or clothing at the Schooner Cove apartments leasing office, 5050 Schooner Cove Blvd. McKinley is also in the process of setting up a bank account to accept monetary donations that would be distributed evenly among the affected residents, she said.
“It’s devastating,” she said. “Everyone here on the property got donations of canned food and clothing, and the community has been great. Residents are thankful no one’s hurt, all the pets were recovered and they’re helping their fellow residents.