WESTLAND, Mich. – Two people were killed Saturday night when a Westland apartment complex caught fire, officials said.
Photo of the apartment fire by Fire Photographer Matt Zmuda.
Ben Kelley, 27, and Lisa Back, 21, were found dead after a fire ripped through Woodland Villa Apartments at about 11:30 p.m. The couple was engaged to be married.
Authorities said the fire started after a resident fell asleep while cooking.
“We know what apartment it started in. The gentleman sustained injuries. He had some chicken tenders on the stove and fell asleep. He woke up about 15-20 minutes later and his kitchen was on fire,” Westland Fire Marshall Kelly Eggers said.
Eggers said 12 units were destroyed.
“We had several injuries. Some folks had to jump out the third floor balcony, helped several folks with our ladder truck, and eight folks transported to a local hospital," Eggers said.
Barbara Dawson said she is blessed, especially after barely escaping from her apartment.
"Two firemen, they like carried me down two different ladders. They were going down simultaneously, and they brought me to the ground. I told them, 'They don’t pay you enough money. They need to pay these firemen some more money,'" Dawson said.