Inkster, Mich (WJBK) - Dozens of families watched for hours helplessly Saturday as firefighters tried to keep the flames at bay in the Canterbury Woods Apartments in Inkster.
Everyone in the 24 units made it out safely but now they’re without a place to call home.
“They lost everything and it’s right at the holiday time,” Nickie Avery said.
All they could do was watch.
“This is the second fire my family has endured this week,” she said.
Nickie Avery’s daughter and cousin live at the Canterbury Woods Apartments in Inkster. Their building caught fire Saturday afternoon, then it spread to another, the wind carried the flames quickly.
24 families lost everything last night.
“She lost everything as well including my granddaughter’s ashes,” Avery said.
Avery’s daughter, too upset to go on camera, lost her infant daughter several years ago. An urn with her child’s ashes were inside, on a nightstand.
“My daughter carries those ashes everywhere with her and not she doesn’t have that that of her daughter left she has nothing,” Avery said.
“It’s tough, and it’s the holidays you know how that goes, all we can do is pray for them,” Inkster Fire Chief Chuck Hubbard said.
Hubbard says his crews with back up from four surrounding jurisdictions battled the flames for hours into the night, he says they haven’t determined a cause.
“These fires sometimes get up in the attic spaces and go across and once they get going that’s it,” Hubbard said.
Both buildings are a total loss.
But, when the Chief heard what this family was missing he sent a crew back in for one more look.
We were able to tell them exactly where to go to retrieve it from and it was right there, so now my daughter has her daughter back,” Avery
The urn was covered in soot but otherwise just how Monell Williams left it.
“Having her back means everything she all that matter I don’t’ care about nothing else,” Williams said.
It will no doubt help get her through the tough days ahead.
“I appreciate them so much they are great man I thank them,” she said.
Special thank you to those brave firefighters and police officers that were out here Saturday. The Red Cross and the apartment complex are working to find temporary housing for the families affected and helping them pick up the pieces.