KENTWOOD, Mich. — Four residents of Woodfield East Apartments and six officers who helped rescue efforts were treated for smoke inhalation overnight Sunday.
The fire was first reported around 12:53 a.m. at 6121 Woodfield Drive SE, the same location of a damaging garage fire January 2.
Two of the injured people were children, one treated resident was an adult. But six police officers who helped a handful of people get to safety were themselves treated for smoke inhalation.
The sheriff’s department identified the injured deputies as Kevin Daley, Jason Postma, Ed Kolakowski, Julie Vogelzang, Joel Langeland and Andrew Jonkman. On the department’s Facebook page, a description of the deputies’ actions provided by a Kentwood Police Department sergeant was posted. The sergeant commended the deputies for their bravery as they faced the dangers of smoke inside the third floor of the apartment building and searched for anyone who may still be inside.
“I know you are proud of the courage and commitment of those deputies,” the sergeant said.
There are 24 apartment units in the section of the complex involved in the fire. Twelve of those units were evacuated, and local American Red Cross staff are helping displaced residents find shelter.
The fire chief told FOX 17 it is believed the problem began when a resident tried to use water to put out a grease fire in a kitchen.
After the initial 911 call, more calls came in to dispatchers that people were trapped on the third floor. The deputies were the first on the scene and began the search for people inside.
Everyone who was treated for smoke inhalation was eventually released from the hospital.
(Photo courtesy: Shawn DeWolf)