AUBURN HILLS, Mich. – Families are looking for a new place to stay after a devastating fire rips through townhouses in Auburn Hills.
The fire broke out at about 3:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon at a corner unit of the Countryside Townhouses in Auburn Hills.
“When the crews got on scene, they found a pretty heavy fire load that had broken through the roof and into the attic, so it elevated to a second alarm, and we brought in mutual aid departments,” said Auburn Hills Fire Department Chief Adam Massingill.
Officials say that the fire quickly started spreading along the roof of the six connected townhomes.
“About an hour on the scene, we brought the fire under control,” Massingill said.
“I went around back, and I started praying,” said resident Quadell Edwards. “I started praying ‘put this fire out.’”
Edwards, his wife, and their five kids live in the unit opposite where the fire started.
He said he was about to wake up to go to work, but his wife woke him up to get out.
“I came outside, and the whole left side of the building was pretty much engulfed in flames,” Edwards said.
Edwards said watching the fire move closer and closer to his home was excruciating until it finally destroyed most of his second floor.
“My 9-year-old he was crying so bad it was kind of hard to see because he thought we were going to get caught in it,” Edwards said. “He didn’t want to lose us. He didn’t want to separate from us. I guess that’s how children are.”
Edwards says they have insurance and a place to stay, but like the five other families, they have lost just about everything in their home.
“I’m not worried,” Edwards said. “I just thank God that everybody’s safe. We just got to move on from here.”
The Edwards family’s 9-year-old son just had a birthday party where he received a bunch of toys. When they were clearing out, he said his son grabbed some of those toys as all the kids and their mom and dad got out to escape the blaze.
Officials say they have no word on how the fire started yet.