7 people, several pets rescued from GR apartment complex fire

Posted at 2:42 AM, Jan 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-07 17:57:54-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Multiple people are safe after a fire broke out at the Preserve Woodland Apartments on 2211 Valleywood Drive in Grand Rapids early Sunday morning.

The fire chief tells FOX 17 seven people and multiple pets were rescued from the fire, which began around 2 a.m., waking many residents up.

"I had only gone to bed a couple hours before and I heard an alarm which happened before. So I got up to use the restroom and I smelled something weird, and I saw the entire deck was in flames," said resident Luke Enders.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the scene and put the flames out in less than an hour. On Monday, fire officials said the fire was caused when a resident knocked over a candle in his sleep.

The man then woke up to his blanket on fire and attempted to pour water and milk on it to put it out, but was unsuccessful. Officials say the man ran door to door to apartments on the building's second and third floors before running outside.

"The initial actions from our personnel was nothing short of heroic," said Brad Brown, the assistant fire chief for the Grand Rapids Fire Department. "They did rescue seven residents from balconies amid heavy smoke and fire conditions. Once the residents were safe we initiated an aggressive indoor fire attack."

American Red Cross met with everyone person by person to tell them how they can help.