Woman involved in Ottawa Co. fire: ‘I’m still in shock, I think everyone is’

Posted at 10:50 PM, Feb 03, 2016

SPRING LAKE TOWNSHIP, Mich. -- Brittany Thorp stood motionless, staring into the few, but faint reminders from the night before. She had just lost her home in an apartment fire

Tuesday evening in the 1800 block of Woodland Ridge Drive.

The sounds of alarms could still be heard, and you could still smell smoke.

A half dozen units on the top floor were completely burned, and units on the bottom level were boarded up.

Fire officials say a lightning strike may be to blame for the apartment fire in northern Ottawa County around 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

"I'm still in shock, I think everyone is," Thorp said. "We're just trying to make it through. I'm really anxious to go back in to see what I can salvage what of mine is still left."

Officials told FOX 17 News that 12 out of 24 units were either damaged or completely ruined, including Thorp's home.

"It doesn’t seem real, it doesn’t seem like this is something that’s happening still," Thorp said. "I'm so sad for all of the people, especially the two upstairs. They have nothing."

Thorp said she was watching a movie when lightning struck Tuesday night. "It was like it was literally right next to me," she said. "When I walked out, I didn’t realize it was a fire, so I didn’t think to grab anything at all."

Her cat Ollie was left inside as her apartment caught fire, but Ollie and two others were rescued and unhurt.

"Things are things, and material things are things, but my biggest thing was Ollie, and if he was gone that [would be] really sad. All my pictures if they’re gone, that’s devastating."

Thorpe said the whole situation doesn't seem real.

"It’s hard knowing a lot of my stuff I won’t get back," Thorpe said, adding she's not sure when she will be allowed back inside the building. The only thing she really needs to retrieve are her car keys and laptop.

So Thorp spent most of Wednesday shopping for new clothes, shoes, a toothbrush, and all of the essentials she now lacks. "I want my bed, my clothes, that’s kinda how I feel," Thorp said.

At this point, she says she's not sure what's ruined. Fortunately, she has renter's insurance.

The apartment complex is accepting donations for displaced residents. We're also told residents are being offered new apartments and are set to move in Thursday.

Officials said no one was hurt due to the fire at the complex.

Thorp has set up a GoFundMe page if you want to help.