Elderly Renters Escape Kalamazoo Apartment Fire

Posted at 7:13 PM, Mar 23, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-23 22:39:33-04

KALAMAZOO, Mich.–Families were back at the Parkview Apartment Complex in Kalamazoo on Saturday loading up belongings in paper bags.

“We have some of her things and her medications,” explained Marta Johnston.

Her 90-year-old mother was one of several renters who had to leave in the middle of the night when a fire broke out inside one of the buildings.

“We were just worried about mom and getting her out safely,” she said.

The complex has a large population of elderly renters, but everyone made it out okay.

“There’s a 101-year-old man here and I know he got out and was one of the last ones, you just breathe as sigh of relief that everyone got out,” said Johnston.

Her mom was nervous about her cat, but they were able to grab the pet in time.

The fire, which started around midnight, damaged around 40 units, but no injuries were reported, according to Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Neighbors initially took notice after their dog started acting up in the late hours.

“We had just settled down and our 12-week-old puppy started kicking up a fuss,” said Linda Graham, who lives nearby.

She said she looked outside just after midnight and spotted the flames coming from the nearby complex and called 911.

The fire department was able to get the fire under control within  30 minutes.

The Red Cross is helping any displaced tenants.

The cause is under investigation.