GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The roof of a 12-unit apartment complex partially collapsed Friday night, as flames shot through it for hours on Grand Rapids’ near Northeast Side.
The fire erupted around 6:30 p.m. Friday at 619 Emerald Ave. Firefighters remained on scene late into the night at the location just east of Eastern Avenue, and a couple streets north of I-196. The area was blocked off, and motorists were advised to avoid the area.
What sparked the fire wasn’t immediately known. Assistant Grand Rapids Fire Chief Brad Brown tells FOX 17 at the scene they believe the fire began near the attic. When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting through the roof and heavy smoke was billowing out.
Firefighters fought flames from a ladder truck and from the ground for hours.
Assistant Chief Brown says everyone got out safely. “It’s a success, as far as life safety is concerned at this time. But that is due to our full-effective response force getting here in a timely manner. When we have situations like this, it’s imperative that we can get multiple units and crews on-scene quickly…”.
A tenant in one unit told FOX 17 at the scene, “It was scary. Luckily, I was the only one home.”
However, she says “everyone in the building has pets”, and some tenants were still searching for them late Friday night.
A crew from the American Red Cross arrived on the scene shortly before 10 p.m. Friday, and was assisting some displaced families find shelter for the night.
A large percentage of the Grand Rapids Fire force was involved in helping to knock down the fire.