One person dies in fire at Calhoun County apartment building

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PENNFIELD TWP., Mich. -- Several fire departments responded to a major apartment fire Wednesday morning in Pennfield Township.

The fire destroyed an apartment building at the Pines of Pennfield on  Hopkins Street.

Witnesses tell FOX 17 the fire started around 9:00am.  We are told that one man fell out his third floor window trying to escape the fire.  He was taken to the hospital and later died.  The Calhoun County Sheriff's Office identifies the man as 66-year-old Walter Bell.  It has not been determined if the man's fall caused his death.

Amber Day said she was woken up by the fire when someone yelled "Fire, Fire. Get out, get out." She first opened the door but a gust of thick black smoke engulfed her and her toddler son. She then went to the balcony and made the terrifying decision to drop her baby down two stories to safety. Fortunately neighbors were nearby to help.

"I'm looking out the balcony like I don’t want to but I'm going to have to do it. I'm going to have to throw my baby," said Day. "They pulled a mattress out on the side of the garbage and put it under my balcony. And a maintenance dude and some other residents was like ‘Drop him, drop him. We got him, we got him.’ And I dropped and they caught him."

Day said she was grateful. Things could've been worse.

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