3 residents, 2 firefighters, officer hurt in senior apartment fire

Several people are recovering from their injuries after a massive fire at a senior apartment complex on Detroit's east side as officials work to help displaced residents.

"Very scary. I thought it was a movie," said Phyllis Holeman.

After a fast-moving fire ripped through the Revered Ann Johnson Elderly Apartments on Monday evening, residents like Phyllis say they're living a nightmare.

"I think I lost everything and I don't have nowhere to go," she said.

But the city of Detroit is working to change that. Several city departments are putting many of the residents, including Phyllis, in a room at the Rivertown Inn on East Jefferson as officials work to help residents find permanent housing.

"The owner here is actually working with us to identify all the properties that he has so we are going to find as many housing options that are safe as possible," said David Bower with the City of Detroit Health Department. 

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The Red Cross is also on hand serving food and providing other assistance to residents. Over at the scene of the fire, investigators and cadaver dogs searched the scene.

"Preliminarily, it appears the fire started on the outside," said Detroit Fire Deputy Chief Dave Fornell.

As the search for answers continues, some residents voiced other concerns.

"The sprinklers didn't go off," said Christopher Cox.

Fire officials say that's not true. The sprinklers were working, the building is up to code, and that's why everyone got out of there. Hydrants are also working properly, according to investigators as efforts were underway to get everyone out.

"The police did a tremendous job, our people did a tremendous job," Fornell said.

Six people were injured -- three residents, one fire fighter and two police officers. All will be OK. 

"The firemen and the police officers went ti the hospital, we owe so much to them," said the building's owner Kathy Leipsitz.

Leipsitz also says it's too early to discuss rebuilding, her focus is on the residents. As efforts continue to find residents housing, the owner of the apartment wants to help get items to put in the new home.

"Whatever help we can get at this point, whether it's furniture," she said.