Pieces of flaming roof collapse as firefighters work to put out the blaze Wednesday. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT
Pieces of flaming roof collapse as firefighters work to put out the blaze Wednesday. Leader photo/CRAIG HAUPERT

Archived Story

Fire destroys Buchanan apartment building

Published 9:45pm Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BUCHANAN — What started as a grease fire destroyed a Buchanan apartment building Wednesday evening, leaving 35 people without a home.

Bill Marx, Buchanan City Manager, said all 35 people known to be living in the affected building at Parkside Terrace Apartments had been accounted for. No one was injured or killed, he added.

Marx said the fire started shortly before 7 p.m. in apartment 12 in building 809. The fire did not spread to any of the other buildings inside the apartment complex, which is located on Red Bud Trail, just north of downtown Buchanan.

Marx said Buchanan City Fire responded to a call of a grease fire that got out of control in the kitchen of apartment 12.

At least seven fire departments responded to the fire, which was under control sometime around 8 p.m.

Flaming pieces of the roof could be seen falling to the ground and, at one point, the fire spread to a nearby tree, although it was quickly extinguished.

Cassandra Querl, who was living in apartment two, said she is afraid she lost four cats in the fire.

“I was only able to get two of them out,” she said, crying.

David Head, of Kalamazoo, said his sister’s dog and cat were trapped inside the apartment complex. Head is looking after the apartment while his sister is attending a wedding in Missouri.

“She was hysterical when I told her,” Head said. “How would you react?”

Fifteen of the 16 units in the apartment complex were occupied, according to Marx.

The apartment complex had no sprinkler system.

“It was built before it was required,” Marx said.

The American Red Cross is providing aid for the displaced residents.

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