DETROIT (FOX 2) - Several people were hurt when a fire tore through their senior apartment building on Detroit's east side late Monday night. Officials say 51 units were occupied at the time of the massive fire.
The fire broke out at East Side Detroit Elderly apartments on Mack Avenue between Springle and Gray streets, injuring six people. Officials originally believed seven people had been hurt.
Detroit Fire Commissioner Eric Jones said that of the injured, two police officers suffered smoke inhalation, a firefigthter was hospitalized for heat exhaustion. The three tenants that were hospitalized have non-life threatening injuries.
Resident Debra Williams says she and her 16-year-old granddaughter made it out with their lives and the clothes on her back during the four alarm fire.
"This is hearbreaking," Williams said. "I lost everything I own. I don't have anything but what I have got on my back. All of my medicine, everything, is in there."
"We are in the process of accounting for the residents, we have 54 units here, 51 we are told that are occupied," Jones said Monday night. "There may be visitors, family, in the apartment building. So what we are going to do, is get everyone together, go through the list, do a confirmation on paper, our firefighters are going to walk through this location to see if we can find any other individuals that are unaccounted for."
As of Tuesday morning, all residents and any guests have been accounted for.
The wind did firefighters no favors sending embers to nearby buildings, causing at least one of them to catch fire.
The cause of the blaze is still unknown, but right now they believe the fire started on the outside of the building near Springle and Mack. Arson investigators will be there Tuesday. We've heard people were barbecuing moments before the 911 calls started coming in.
Detroit Department of Transportation buses were at the scene transporting residents to temporary housing.