6 Crewmen Saved From Jackson Fire

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UPDATE: JACKSON (WILX)-- Six construction workers are ok after being trapped in a 12-story building during a fire Friday afternoon.

It happened at the old Consumers Energy Headquarters in downtown Jackson, which is in the process of being demolished.

Jackson Fire Chief Matthew Heins says the fire started in a pile of debris on the third or fourth floor of the building. What caused the fire is still under investigation.

The six demolition crewmen were working in the area of the fire when it started around 2 pm. The fire and smoke left the crewmen trapped with no way down.

"There was flames coming out of one of the windows and there was extensive smoke. Initially we were only told there were five, but a short time later we found the sixth person missing," said Heins.

Firefighters were able to get all six workers out by a ladder. All six were able to get down the ladder on their own. They suffered minor smoke inhalation, but there were no injuries.

"We had good access to everybody. Everybody was calm, and we had good communication with them," said Jackson Fire Chief David Wooden.

The fire consumed parts the 3rd and 4th floor, North-West corner. The size of the fire and building was too big for the Jackson Fire Department to handle alone. 6 other fire departments from around Jackson County also responded to the call.

"We are not staffed to handle a fire this size. So we depended a lot on people to assist us," said Wooden.

The fire was officially put out around 4:30 pm on Friday.

"Once we were able to locate it we were able to put it out in short order," said Heins.

After the fire was put out there was still work to be done. The fire had caused massive debris to pile up on the 4th floor. Wooden described it as "at least 6 feet deep up against the wall." To get rid of the debris quickly firefighters ended up using the demolition crews bobcat.

"The debris on the 4th floor, which was still smoldering and had hot spots, we needed to dig out."

Demolition of the building should be able to resume by next week.

We will keep you updated when we find out the cause of the fire.

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