Engaged couple killed in Westland apartment fire

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Two people have been reported dead after a three-story apartment complex caught fire Saturday night in Westland. 

The fire was noticed around 11 p.m. at the Westland Villa Apartments.

According to officials, the fire started because a man on the second floor fell asleep after making chicken tenders on the stove. He woke up to his kitchen on fire and ran out the apartment, getting second- and third-degree burns. 

Officials say he lived below the two people who were killed in the fire, Ben Kelley, 27, and Lisa Back, 21. They lived on the third floor and were engaged to be married. Their wedding was supposed to be in October.

“Everybody was together on this to help out, people were coming from surrounding buildings to try to see what they could do, I guess we were willing to run in there if anyone was trapped but we were all together on this,” apartment resident Corey Garrard said.

A few other people were taken to the hospital with injuries but are expected to be okay. 

The Woodland Villa Apartments have issued a statement about the incident.

Our entire family over at paragon properties and woodland villa are deeply saddened to hear about this tragic incident earlier this morning. We are not able to comment on any pending investigations and are cooperating fully with the local authorities in their efforts. However, what we can say is that all of our residents who have been displaced have currently been checked into local hotels. We are working as hard as possible to allow residents that have been evacuated and not living in the impacted building back into their apartments once the fire department says its ok. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.