2017-06-15 / Front Page

Center Road apartment fire displaces 100

BY TANYA TERRY
810-452-2645 • tterry@mihomepaper.com


Because of the way a local apartment building is made, a recent fire did not spread as much as it could have elsewhere. 
Photos by Paula Schmidt Because of the way a local apartment building is made, a recent fire did not spread as much as it could have elsewhere. Photos by Paula Schmidt BURTON — A fire at Burton Place Apartments displaced 100 residents and hospitalized two firefighters June 8.

“It was a cooking fire,” said Burton Fire Chief Marvin Epperson. “It was a grease fire. A kitchen fire is the most common type of fire.”

Firefighters arrived around 7 p.m. to the senior and Section 8 apartment building to put out the ninth-floor fire.

Epperson said there’s always a greater chance for loss of life when there is a large number of people in a building. He said he was thankful no lives were lost.

“The building was designed with concrete floors and in a way that caused the fire not to spread,” he said. “The fire stayed in one unit.”

Firefighters from Davison, Flint, Genesee Township and Grand Blanc responded, along with the Burton Fire Department.


A 100 people were displaced because of the fire at Burton Place Apartments on June 8. 
Photo by Paula Schmidt. A 100 people were displaced because of the fire at Burton Place Apartments on June 8. Photo by Paula Schmidt. Epperson said when they arrived there were a lot of people outside. Some people moved from their apartments to the stairwell, where there was no smoke.

“The people in the stairwell wanted help down,” Epperson said. “They were told to stay in place until there were more people to help them down, and that they weren’t in danger.” Two Burton firefighters needed to be transported to the hospital about 45 minutes into their work, due to smoke inhalation. They were released around 11 p.m. “There were search crews on every floor,” Epperson said. “We ended up going through every floor and every door.” Epperson said The Burton police helped out a great deal. “They helped track people when they came out and helped people get back in rooms when it was safe,” he said. “They kept the place secure.” The woman living in the apartment where the fire started suffered a burn to the arm and had difficulty breathing. About five other residents also had difficulty breathing. “There were no life-threatening injuries,” Epperson said. The ninth and 10th floor of the building suffered smoke damage. There was water and smoke damage done to the eighth floor. There was also some water in some of the units on floors one through seven. Power has been cut to units that sustained water damaged. “Most of the damage was water damage from the sprinklers,” Epperson said. Epperson said putting out the fire and making sure the residents were safe was a group effort, involving several departments. He said he wanted to thank partners and everyone there, including volunteers. Some residents were picked up by family members. MTA transported 25-30 residents to the Burton Senior Center, which assisted with housing. The Red Cross brought blankets, and the Salvation Army provided food. “With everyone there it went very well,” he said. “For the amount of people and the floors, not having any significant injuries is good. When there’s no loss of life, it goes well.”

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