WESTLAND, Mich. (WJBK) - A tragedy in Westland as a fire rips through an apartment building causing residents to do whatever it takes to find safety.
"Some patients were burned victims, some them had jumped from third story balconies, some had thrown their children down to arriving police officers," Westland Fire Chief Michael Stradtner said.
But as the fire raged on, two people were unaccounted for -- an engaged couple. Ben Kelley and Lisa Black were inside their third floor apartment. They did not survive.
"Everyone is devastated. It's really hard," Debbie Pisani said.
Debbie and John Pisani are the aunt and uncle of Lisa Black. The family can't believe they are living yet another nightmare after losing Lisa's mother to breast cancer and her father to a heart attack.
"I got guardianship of her and her sister six years ago and all the family has pretty much rallied around everybody," Debbie said.
The Pisani's say they happened to be in Westland and decided to stop by Lisa's job to say hello, but at the time they had no idea it was really a goodbye.
"We were just so thankful that we got to see her hug her and tell her we loved her," they said.
What's even more devastating for the family is that investigators say the fire was started by unattended cooking and could have been prevented.
"He just said he was tired and basically he started cooking food on the stove and fell asleep and he claims woke up 15 to 20 minutes later to his apartment on fire," who said.
Family members say their hearts are broken that their attention has turned from planning a wedding to a funeral and they say Lisa's job started a GoFundMe me to help them out, CLICK HERE.
Just the mere thought of what's to come next is too difficult for this family to speak about. Officials say this is an ongoing investigation and it's unclear if any charges will be filed.
But for now, as clean up at the fire site continues, two families try to find the courage to move on without their loved ones.