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Detroit firefighters rescue residents from apartment building fire

Cause of fire at building on Schaefer near 8 Mile under investigation

DETROIT – Several people were rescued early Thursday morning from an apartment building fire on Detroit's west side.

The two-alarm fire on Schaefer Highway, just south of 8 Mile Road, started at about 5:30 a.m. in a lower level apartment.

“Before I knew it, people were saying, ‘Fire, fire, fire.’I look outside and I see the smoke coming. I just react, grab my stuff, grab my belongings, knocked on peoples’ doors,” said Rodney Tyson. “We tried to go out the back but it was so much smoke coming. It blew us back.”

Tyson said firefighters put a ladder to a window and he was able to get out safely with his cat.

“We had people trapped, hanging out of the windows. We went into rescue mode,” said Detroit Fire Chief Michael Jefferson. “I can honestly say that I have the best fire department in the world. The guys went above and beyond. They rescued several civilians. EMS pulled up and did a great job.”

Five people were treated for injuries. 

Jefferson said the fire was contained to the one apartment, but there is heavy smoke damage throughout the entire building.

The cause is still under investigation.