Massive fire guts 24 units at Westland apartment complex

Image 1 of 6

Several families are homeless after a devastating fire at Westwood Village Apartments in Westland near Joy Road Wednesday night.

"All my belongs were in there, and everything is gone," said one resident.

The fire spread from one building to the other. Hours later, firefighters were still at the scene trying to get the scene under control.

Everyone did get out alive, luckily, but it is unknown what caused the fire.

"They had heavy smoke and fire coming out of the second floor balcony area," said Westland Fire Chief Mark Stradtner. "It was a well advanced fire into the attic space when our units arrived."

The blaze broke out sometime around 6 p.m. Resident Shawn Hunter lost his cat in the blaze.

"I just smelled smoke all of sudden and people were knocking on the doors saying it was on fire and to get out," he said. "I tried to get to my cat, but he was jumping behind stuff and I couldn't get to him."

The fire started in one building and spread to another - all together 24 apartment units destroyed. The weather only made fighting the fire worse.

"The wind definitely pushes that fire around a lot more than we would like it to," Stradtner said. "Once it gets into the attic space and those concealed areas it becomes that much more difficult to put out."

Resident Lavonne Fuller talked to FOX 2 while she watched her apartment building burn.

"It's crazy, it's sad, I don't really know what to think right now," she said. 

People say the fire spread fast. Stefan Thomas was just relaxing when he smelled smoke - and knew he needed to get out

"It was time for us to get out of here, let's go," he said.

Other people living in the complex jumped into to action to help.