Fire Causes Major Damage at Plymouth Apartment Building
No injuries reported in Thursday apartment fire.
A fire that broke out shortly after 11 a.m. Thursday has caused major damage at a Plymouth apartment building.
As of 3 p.m., the fire is mostly put out with a few stray flames, and no injuries have been reported.
The fire affected units in the 14071, 14073, 14075 and 14077 buildings of Lake Pointe Village Apartments located off Wilcox Road south of M-14 and just west of Haggerty Road and I-275.
An estimated 16 apartment units were affected by the fire. Residents were evacuated and there are no reports of injuries at this time.
Fire spread to attic
Plymouth Township Fire Chief Mark Wendel said his crews responded shortly after 11 a.m. on a report of a fully engulfed apartment unit.
By that point, he said, the fire had spread to the attic area and spread to an attached apartment building.
"Once it got up into the attic, it just took off from there," Wendel said. "So it was just a matter of trying to catch it. That was the problem."
Linda Ruonavaara, a resident of one of the buildings, said she was at home when the fire started.
"I was in the bedroom texting and I thought I smelled something funny," she said. "Then I heard a fire engine in the distance."
Ruonavaara said an officer then began banging on all of the doors, asking everyone to get out.
Wendel said there were reports of pets still in the building that likely died in the fire. There were reports at the scene of at least one dog that died in the fire.
Wendel said an investigation still needs to take place to determine a possible cause.
There were reports at the scene of a resident hearing an explosion at about the time the fire started, but Wendel said that wouldn't necessarily be the cause of a fire.
"That's not uncommon," Wendel said. "When you have a significant fire going, aerosol cans and whatnot get super heated and they blow up."
Wendel said he expects crews to remain at the scene for several more hours to ensure the fire is completely extinguished, clean up the scene and investigate the cause.
He said the cold, windy conditions affected his crew's efforts to battle the blaze.
"The wind always affects the fires, especially once it breaks through the roof," Wendel said. "The wind's just going to carry those flames and heat that fire up fast and it's just going to run."
Wendel said it isn't likely any of the units will be salvageable, as the fire gutted the apartment buildings.
Service groups assist fire victims
Allison Koenigbauer, a regional communications officer from the American Red Cross, said the Red Cross is offering food, shelter and clothing assistance to the residents.
Plymouth Township, Livonia, Northville-Plymouth and Northville Township fire departments all responded and battled the fire for hours.
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Correction: The name of the Red Cross representative was misreported. It has been corrected.