10 families displaced by apartment building fire

A fire two weeks ago completely destroyed two apartments in this 12-unit Sunridge Apartments building.

A fire two weeks ago completely destroyed two apartments in this 12-unit Sunridge Apartments building.

FLINT TWP. —Five residents and two firefighters were taken to the hospital for treatment as a result of an early-morning fire on Jan. 26 at Sunridge Apartments on Flushing Road.

All were treated for smoke inhalation or sprains and released, said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burkley in a report last week to the township board.

The fire broke out about 1 a.m., Burkley said. Sgt. Jason McClanahan who was on duty at fire station No. 2 across the street responded within two minutes of the dispatch call.

McClanahan arrived to find apartment residents hanging from balconies, jumping from windows and crawling out, Burkley said.

Heavy fire coming from the basement had spread into the hallway which was the exit path for residents, he said.

Township police arrived promptly and assisted in getting residents out of the 12-unit building. McClanahan also had to use a ladder to rescue some residents from a balcony.

Help was summoned from the City of Flint and Mt. Morris Township which soon expanded into a mutual aid arrangement with the county that brought in county chiefs and officers to coordinate personnel, Burkley said.

About a dozen Flint township firefighters on the scene got a good grasp on knocking down the fire, Burkley said.

Working together, the firefighters did a “phenomenal job” of containing the blaze to the basement apartment, he said. Other than smelling like smoke, apartments on the north side of the building were completely intact, he said. Ten of the 12 units in the building were occupied.

One township firefighter and one from Mt. Morris were treated at the hospital for smoke inhalation.

“It was a very hot fire and produced a tremendous amount of smoke,’’ Burkley said.

He praised the coordinated effort by police, EMS, 911 dispatch and fire departments in handling the chaotic situation.

“On the whole, everyone did a fabulous job on working together,” he said.

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