Massive fire takes over apartment building in Detroit

At least 4 people hurt, including victims who had to jump to safety

By Charles Jackson, Halston Herrera - Digital news editor


A fire gutted an apartment complex early Wednesday on Detroit's west side, forcing dozens of people out of their homes, including many who jumped from windows on the second and third floors.

There were no immediate reports of deaths caused by the fire, which broke out about 6 a.m. at Jason Manor Apartments.

"I heard, ‘Jump if you have to. Jump if you have to,'" said resident Ellery Taylor.

Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson said about 25 people were rescued and at least four people were taken to hospitals for treatment.

"Our firefighters did a heroic job," Jackson said. He said the department was still trying to account for everyone who was inside -- sources said between 5 and 7 people have still not been located.

Amber Mickels was one of the residents rescued by firefighters.

"We were asleep when the fire happened and we couldn't get out. Just in time, the firefighters came with a ladder and came and got us down," Mickels told Local 4. "But everything's gone."

Many of the evacuated residents were being kept on buses to stay warm; most were in their pajamas and didn't have shoes.

Doug Woodcock, who works next door to the apartments, brought over shoes and booties.

"I just saw the look in these peoples faces. You could tell they just got out and ran," he said.

Aundrell Grayson said his entire family had to escape through a second-floor window.

"Someone was already outside, so I handed down the baby first, then my wife, then me," Grayson told Local 4.

Grayson, his wife and 3-year-old daughter were not hurt.

"It's real scary. I'm just happy we're out," Grayson said.

Police were called to the building earlier to deal with a disturbance at a party, Jackson said, and police were investigating whether that was related to the fire. The cause of the fire wasn't immediately known.

Help for the victims

The Salvation Army and the Red Cross are helping the residents who lost their homes by providing temporary shelter and supplies.

There is a benefit account set up at Fifth Third Bank, account number 7915441716 for any monetary donations.

Donations can also be made to the non-profit Redford Brightmoor Initiative.

Checks can be sent to:

10000 Beech Daly Road, Redford, MI, 48239.

Make sure you write a note designating them to the Jason Street apartments fund.

Clothing donation locations:

  • Outer Drive United Methodist Church

    313 937-3170

    12065 West Outer Drive, Detroit, 48223

  • Time out Sports Bar and Grill

    313 653-4517

    16801 Plymouth Road, Detroit, 48227

Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.