Kzoo Twp. apt. building may be total loss after fire

Smoke rises from Country Meadows Apartments in Kalamazoo Township following a large fire. (Oct. 24, 2015)

KALAMAZOO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Two people sustained minor injuries in a fire that may have rendered an apartment building near Kalamazoo a total loss, authorities say.

The large fire broke out just before 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Country Meadow Apartments on Sunnyside Drive south of Gull Road in Kalamazoo Township. That’s east of the city of Kalamazoo.

The fire chief on scene told 24 Hour News 8 that one resident sustained minor injuries and that a firefighter may also have sustained minor injuries and was being checked out. The nature of those injuries was not immediately known.

Crews also rescued a woman from a second-story balcony.

Firefighters remained on scene well after midnight, putting out hot spots and cleaning up. Neighbors said they were grateful to emergency responders for arriving and dousing the fire quickly.

Still, the fire marshal told 24 Hour News 8 on Sunday that the building may be a total loss.

The American Red Cross is helping residents who were displaced. It’s unclear how many people were affected.

The cause of the fire is not yet known, though investigators think it may have started in one of the garden-level apartments. They will return Monday to finish their investigation.

Saturday’s wasn’t the first serious fire at the apartment building. In August, 12 families were displaced after a separate fire.

Rick Hassler is among the people displaced by Saturday’s fire. He was at a friend’s apartment when flames broke out.

“I looked … and there’s my apartment again, getting blown up with fire again. I was like, ‘I can’t believe it. I can’t believe it again,'” Hassler said. “I mean, flames were sky-high. I was just hoping my stuff was safe.”

Many units in the apartment building weren’t occupied as there was still some construction and remodeling to be done after the August fire.

The fire marshal also said many residents didn’t have renter’s insurance and that the fire serves as reminder for why it’s important.

–24 Hour News 8’s Evan Dean contributed to this report.

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