More than 20 tenants relocated after apartment fire - WNEM TV 5

More than 20 tenants relocated after apartment fire

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BURTON, MI (WNEM) -

Authorities said an unattended grease pan led to an apartment fire that left 23 tenants put out of their home.

It happened Thursday, June 8 at the Burton Place Apartments on the 2200 block of S. Center Road in Burton.

Investigators said an elderly woman in a ninth-floor apartment left a pan of grease unattended in her kitchen. The grease caught fire and she suffered minor burns on her arms, officials said.

Firefighters rushed into the complex to evacuate tenants and snuff out the flames. The Burton fire chief said the evacuation went smoothly and the tenants on the ninth and 10th floor were taken in a bus to the Burton Senior Center for the night.

One cat was also killed in the fire and two firefighters were also treated and released for heat exhaustion.

Officials contained the fire to two apartment units, but the fire chief said 100 units sustained water and smoke damage. 

"From what we're hearing we'll be waiting for some days. Maybe some people two or three weeks. Maybe  even longer. I don't know," said Barbara Emery, displaced tenant.

She doesn't know when she will be allowed back home.

"I left my little kitty in the house. She hid and I couldn't find her so I had to leave her in there," Emery said.

Residents had to leave all of their belongings behind causing Emery to worry about her cat Princess.

"I need her back, but she needs me," Emery said.

Others were forced to leave essential medications and medical supplies. After evacuating residents and knocking down the blaze, firefighters spent the night going back into those same apartments.

"So they went back to each apartment, got the meds as we know they were needed and brought them over here," said Dick Beauchamp, with Red Cross.

Residents in floors one through six were allowed back in that night. But those on the seventh floor and above have been displaced.

"There's no elevator. So if you want to go back to seven or eight, you have to be able to climb the stairs and a lot of them can't. They're out because of their physical condition," Beauchamp said.

The Red Cross found places for all of the displaced residents to go.

>>Slideshow: Fire at Burton Place Apartments<<

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