DETROIT (WJBK) - Authorities are investigating after one person was killed in an early-morning house fire in Detroit.
Two people were inside the home in the 8700 block of W Lane Street, which is near Vernor Highway and Lanwdale Street on the city's southwest side. One roommate escaped through a second-story window. The other man was not able to get out and died in the fire.
"I had to take to take my time because I have a twisted ankle; took me a few minutes to get down," says Chris Kedzierski. Hours after escaping through the window, he is still trembling from the experience.
Kedzierski was the one that was awake and smelled the smoke around 3 a.m. Wednesday. He yelled downstairs to his friend for the past two years and roommate, 48-year-old Alvaro Jimenez. It was too smoky to get downstairs to Jimenez, though, and Kedzierski heard no response.
"I could feel the heat," remembers Kedzierski. "I thought the whole thing was gonna catch on fire and burn before I could get out."
By the time firefighters reached Jimenez, it was too late. Family members who live just a couple doors down tell us Jimenez was a father to two daughters, and that he was a good man who gave his back to his neighbors. They say he often shoveled snow or raked leaves for others.
"He was a nice guy. He used to laugh about everything. He was kind," says Jimenez's nephew, Israel Jimenz.
We're told the house did not have any electricity, but an extension cord was plugged in from next door to bring power to the home. Investigators say they found a space heater in the same room as Jimenez, so they believe that may be the cause of the fire.