Firefighters rescue residents from Detroit apartment roof collapse

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One by one, tenants living at Detroit's Village Square Apartments had to be rescued from their windows after their roof partially collapsed.

Among those rescued was 89-year-old Ruth Mattison. "I was scared, I didn't know what was going on," she said. "But now I'm kind of settled down."

Her son arrived home just in time. The apartment where he cares for his mother was in the center of the danger zone.

"It is disastrous, they brought her out through the window. The bad thing is they just upped the rent," said Melvin Mattison.

Sixteen-year-old Allan Watkins heard the roof starting to cave in and had to think fast.

"I hear a nice break, I opened the door, I had to knock out the air conditioner I had to crawl through the air conditioner hole," he said. "It was just crazy."

Detroit firefighters arrived quickly to the apartments on Santa Maria and Meyers on the city's west side, successfully rescuing a total of 10 tenants through the back windows by ladders.

The battalion chief says large quantities of shingles not correctly dispersed on the roof caused it to collapse.

"They were putting a new roof on put the material on it and due to the weight of it, the front end sank, the front end sagged and collapsed and blocked the doors of exit," said Battalion Chief Byron Jaracz.

Everyone made it out safely with no injuries, but now the residents who live in this part of the complex have nowhere to go.

Manager Jason Dean said they will put the tenants up in a hotel for at least one night. It's not clear when they will be allowed back inside apartments.

"It depends on what it takes for them to repair it," he said. "Right now it is not endangering the inside, it is just the deck, so it depends on what they say.

Dorothy Long, 71, who had just minutes to grab her medication feels this didn't have to happen.

"I asked the office do I get a clothing allowance or something all I have is what I have on my back," she said.