23-year-old aspiring nurse and mother dies in Waterford Township apartment complex fire

About 14 units have water and smoke damage

Neighbors say the smoke was so intense that firefighters had to put up their ladder so they could climb down windows.
Neighbors say the smoke was so intense that firefighters had to put up their ladder so they could climb down windows.

DETROIT – An apartment complex fire in Waterford Township that happened Saturday morning left one person dead.

Neighbors say the smoke was so intense that firefighters had to put up their ladder so residents could climb out their windows.

A young woman studying to become a nurse didn’t survive.

Viewer video shows intense flames blowing out the window of a third floor apartment in Waterford Township.

The victim reportedly woke up and tried to get out, but the flames were too overwhelming.

Brionna Johnson, 23, was killed in the early morning apartment fire.

Original Story: Woman dies in fire at Waterford Township apartment complex

“She just loved being with her family and her son. It’s going to very hard for us,” said Janaea Curtainboll, a friend of Johnson.

Brionna’s 2-year-old son was with his father this weekend. Curtainboll says her best friend kept calling to tell her the tragic news

“I woke up to five missed calls from her. She doesn’t call me like this. She told me the terrible news and I rushed right over,” said Curtainboll.

The fire broke out around 5 a.m. on Saturday at the Glengarry Park Apartments near Pontiac Lake and Highland Road.

“Got woken up to the sounds of fire alarms. Woke up in a panic cause I’m thinking my apartment is on fire,” said neighbor Calvin Allen.

Waterford police got there first, but couldn’t get into the victim’s apartment because the flames were too intense. Firefighters arrived moments later. Sadly, the young woman could not be rescued.

“It’s really sad to lose a loved one like that, a daughter, mom, can only imagine what they’re going through. Sorry for their loss,” said Allen.

As temperatures soared, neighbors sat together under the shade of a tree as restoration crews worked to get them back into their homes. About 14 units have water and smoke damage. The Red Cross is helping people impacted by the fire.

Read more: Headlines from across Oakland County


About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.