Inkster apartment fire destroys 2 buildings, 24 families lose homes

Fire was spread by wind, authorities say

By Priya Mann - Reporter, Dane Sager Kelly - Web Producer

INKSTER, Mich. - With Thanksgiving days away, many families in Inkster are grateful they escaped a massive apartment fire, but their homes and belongings are gone. 

ORIGINAL STORY: Fire crews from multiple cities battle Inkster apartment fire 

Firefighters from Inkster, Wayne, Westland, Dearborn Heights and Garden City worked tirelessly to contain the quick moving fire that started at about 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Canterbury Woods Apartments located near the intersection of Tobin Drive and Beech Daly Road.

Chuck Hubbard, the Inkster fire chief, said the fire started in a back building and winds carried it from one roof to another. More than 20 families have lost everything and two buildings were destroyed.

"We just came out with what we had," said Regina Young. 

Young and her granddaughters ran outside  as the fire and smoke spread quickly.

"It was just terrifying because you think this isn’t real, this isn’t happening," Young said. "The more you look at it, the more real it is."

Families watched helplessly as 25 firefighters from five departments tried to contain the flames.

"Both buildings are a complete loss," Hubbard said. "If a fire spreads to attic and then goes across, that’s it."

Just before Thanksgiving and the holiday season, 24 families have to start all over. 

"It's a bad time of the year to lose everything to a fire," Nina Darnell said.

Darnell and her family has been down this road before. It's the second time she had lost a home to a fire.

Her granddaughter's ashes were lost Saturday in the fire.

As families absorbed the shock of losing their homes and belongings, many took comfort knowing no one was killed or hurt in the massive fire.

"My granddaughter said, 'You’re being so strong.' I said, 'It hasn’t hit me,'" Young said.

Investigators looking into whether there were working smoke detectors and what caused this fire. 

The Red Cross Disaster Services and the Salvation Army are working to help find the families temporary housing.

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