GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (March 15, 2014) — It’s believed that a fire started on the first floor inside a unit at the Danbury Place Apartments on Saturday afternoon, but thick smoke quickly spread up to the other floors. An infant and a woman inside the apartment are said to have possible first or second degree burns. Both were transported to the hospital a long with a third patient.
The apartment building is located on 2860 Marshall Street in southeast Grand Rapids, just south of 28th Street.
Alexandria Glosch said that she didn’t hear a fire alarm and was forced to jump off of her balcony.
“I went out the front door and I see black smoke. I shut the door, locked the door, grabbed my purse and I jumped off the balcony,” said Glosch.
Glosch wasn’t the only one finding no escape other than their balconies.
“There were numerous rescues that needed to be made from the second and third floor, and so we started with a fire attack and started to perform the rescues,” said Battalion Chief Dan Stoddard.
Glosch said that she called 911, but as smoke filled the stairway, she didn’t want to risk staying inside the building.
“I have no option. I need to get out of here. I’m not going to wait for the fire department because I was on the phone with the fire department, and I tossed it to someone that was below me, so they could talk to them, and then I jumped down,” said Glosch.
Other neighbors looked on as residents tried to escape the thick smoke.
“I looked again and there was another person on this side jumping off, and I was like oh my god, and then I saw smoke, black smoke,” said witness Elizabeth Hudsonlee.
Fire officials said that the fire was contained to a single apartment on the first floor, but the majority of the 11 units in the building suffered smoke damage.
“It was pitch black. It smelled really bad. Personally it smelled like an electrical fire to me, but they say it’s a grease fire, and I just kind of panicked and jumped off the balcony,” said Glosch.
No one who lives in the building is allowed to return, so the Red Cross is helping them find a place to stay.
Fire officials have not determined a cause of the fire.