Flint firefighters battle overnight blaze - WNEM TV 5

Flint firefighters battle overnight blaze

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Pastor Tom Knight leads the First Apostolic Church of Flint, right across the street from where this morning's apartment fire happened.

He ministers to many homeless people and today's fire had him extra worried.

"At various times we've had homeless people that have been living in that abandoned building," said Knight.

The six-unit apartment house had heavy smoke coming from the second story when firefighters arrived.

"We went inside to investigate. Started out with a search and rescue," said Capt. Darren Clemons, with the Flint Fire Department, "We weren't sure if any residents were still in the home. We didn't find anyone."

Firefighters did discover multiple fires burning in the house, leading them to believe that the fire wasn't an accident.

"Of course it's suspicious, because the unit was vacant," Clemons said.

Firefighters say with multiple fires burning and spreading throughout the house, the safest way to battle the blaze was a defensive one, making sure neighbors' homes were safe.

"The house next door may have had some minor damage, but mostly it was this structure that was completely destroyed," said Clemons.

According to Knight, this wasn't the first building in the neighborhood to go up in flames, just the latest.

"Last weekend we didn't think we were going to have church because we had a fire next door, which actually caught our shed on fire," said Knight.

He's also concerned that these fires could end up destroying more than just property.

"We're going to see situations where people are going to start getting hurt in some of these houses," Knight said.

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