Tenants escape apartment fire with their lives, dozens left home - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Tenants escape apartment fire with their lives, dozens left homeless

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Dozens of people are picking up the pieces after a fire at an apartment building in Monroe, Michigan.

The flames started on the third floor of a building around 9 a.m. Saturday at the Hidden Trail Apartments.

More than 10 departments, including firefighters from Frenchtown Township, Exeter Township and Monroe, helped to contain the blaze.

It was an emotional day for the tenants who lost everything after the devastating fire spread through the Hidden Trail Apartments in Monroe.

However, it could have been much worse. When crews arrived on the scene, people were trapped inside. Frenchtown Township Fire Chief Mark Nichol said, "We had four people on the third floor that immediately needed to be rescued by ground crews. Crews were able to get up there and get those rescues."

Edward Benitez lives in the building next door to the fire. He saw a man hanging from a window. "He was yelling out of the bedroom window, he said that he couldn't get out."

Fortunately, everyone was able to get out in one piece.

The building housed 50 units and tenants in two other nearby complexes were evacuated to a safe area. It took hours for crews to get the flames under control. The fire chief said the intense heat and collapsing roof make the fire especially challenging. "This kind of building gives us a whole lot of hazards. It was a lot of manpower from the get go, rescuing situations and establishing water supply."

Lauren Dubois says she was asleep when crews arrived. "When the firefighters came to my door, he was telling me it was serious, like get out right now!" Everything she owned was inside the apartment. "Everything, things that are irreplaceable."

Shannon McCarty and her seven-year-old daughter live at the apartments. They were gone when the fire broke out. "I don't know what we would have done. I don't know what we are going to do now." But she also knows they were lucky. "I want to think positive. All the things inside can be replaced. I just care about the people. I don't want anyone hurt or animals."

The Red Cross is providing assistance to those displaced. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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