MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — A 6-year-old and an adult were pulled from a burning Muskegon Heights apartment early Sunday and hospitalized in Grand Rapids with serious injuries.
Later, they were listed in serious condition following the blaze in the 600 block of East Hovey Ave.
It’s not clear how or if the two victims are related. No one else was in the apartment when the fire was discovered.
Muskegon Central Dispatch received a number of calls about the blaze just before 3:30 a.m.
Muskegon Heights Fire Chief Christopher Dean told 24 Hour News 8 the first crews on the scene found flames and heavy smoke coming from the two-story apartment.
“Amazingly, it was a three-man shift, with only three firefighters,” Dean said. “They went in, knocked the fire down and rescued two people, all before mutual aid units arrived. They did an exceptional job.”
The back door of the apartment was mangled and pulled out of the door casing as the result of an earlier rescue attempt. Muskegon Heights police interviewed a man who said he and others tried getting to the victims through the doorway.
“He could hear people screaming. They kicked in the door trying to get to the people they could hear screaming but there was too much heat and smoke for them to go inside,” Dean said.
One victim was found in a bedroom, the other in a stairwell. Dean said it’s unclear if the person found in the stairwell was trying to escape.
“We’re not sure. We’re still trying to piece that information together on the sequence of events. And it’s too early to tell if they were overcome by the smoke or if they were trying to escape at the time,” he said.
The fire was knocked down quickly. As of early Sunday morning, investigators were still looking for a cause.
“We haven’t eliminated anything, whether it be electrical, mechanical or even intentionally set,” Dean said.
The chief says there were working smoke detectors in the apartment.