House fire burns out of control in Grosse Pointe

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A house fire spread out of control Monday and through Tuesday, burning several homes in Grosse Pointe.
Homeowners and neighbors watched in disbelief as firefighters worked for hours to stop the blaze.

"I heard a couple of muffled booms and I thought that was my neighbor closing his garage door."

Barely sitting down for dinner inside his Grosse Pointe home on Washington Street on Monday night, 77-year-old Ted Mack looked out his window and across the street.

"It was completely engulfed in flames. I've never seen anything like it in my life," Mack said.

The fire started in a home that was under construction and quickly spread to the two homes next to it. Firefighters from eight departments worked to get it under control.

"I said has anybody grabbed Mrs. Walls out of the house yet? They said no they didn't, but they'll get to it in a minute."

Mack, not willing to wait, ran into her home. He says she had just gotten out of bed and didn't realize what was happening.

 "She's an older lady and she was kind of in a state of shock," he said.

Urging his neighbor to leave her home, that woman was worried about her cat, so Mack promised to go find it, despite firefighters' orders.

 "I want to get on my hands and knees to get it, two firefighters came behind me and said you got to get out of here. I said I realize that, I'm trying to get this cat."

That startled cat ran off to hide, but Mack and firefighters were eventually able to get it out. The woman's pet suffered from smoke inhalation.

"There were two paramedics here and they administered some oxygen to it, brought it back around. They took it into a vet. The cat is fine by the way, believe it or not," he said.

Mack says after helping her and saving the cat, he decided to disobey firefighters one more time. 

"I said I need your keys Mrs. Walls. She said why? I said just give me your keys." he said.

Mack says he then jogged over to his neighbor’s car that was parked at the top of her driveway, as firefighters told him to get out of there, and that the house was going to fall over on top of him.

He drove it anyway, and parked it down the street.

"Nobody even got a burnt finger out of this. It's amazing," he said.

Firefighters continued to put out the fire into Tuesday afternoon and the cause still under investigation. Mack says he's just glad his neighbor and her cat are OK.

"I think they're going through a stage of shock. It hasn't set in yet," he said.

Admitting, while he can be a little stubborn: 

"This is what good neighbors do. It's what good neighbors do."