Police investigating fire at Vineyard Place Apartments

Published 12:13 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Investigators with the Dowagiac Police and Fire Departments are looking into the cause of a fire that broke out at Vineyard Place Apartments Monday night.

At approximately 6 p.m., the Dowagiac Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at the complex after residents reported that smoke was coming from a neighboring apartment, said Deputy Police Chief Jarrid Bradford.

Firefighters arrived along with officers from the Dowagiac Police Department and located the 52-year-old resident of the apartment, who was still inside. The neighbors who reported the incident told dispatch they believed the resident was not home at the time, Bradford said.

The resident was uncooperative with officers and had to be removed from the apartment and restrained due to the fire and smoke inside of the apartment. The resident, while not injured, was taken into protective custody by police because of her mental state during the fire. She was transported to Borgess-Lee Memorial Hospital for further evaluation.

Damage from the fire was limited to a small area in the front of the apartment and one other room, though smoke spread throughout the apartment. Responders were able to put out the fire within seconds, so no one else in the complex was required to evacuate the premises.

There were no injuries as result of the incident.

The fire remains under investigation by the Dowagiac Fire Department and Police Departments.

“The fire is being looked as a suspicious situation, since the resident didn’t want to leave the apartment during the fire,” Bradford said. “We are still looking into the cause and origin of the fire.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Dowagiac Police Department at (269) 782-9743 or the Dowagiac Fire Department at (269) 782-9563.