Eighteen families are looking for new homes today after a fire destroyed their apartment building. The fire broke out around 1:00 am on Wednesday at the Kaynorth apartments in Lansing.
For Lesia Bland, it's a wake up call she never expected. The apartment building next to hers was engulfed in flames.
"So all that smoke was just rushing through the window and that's what woke me up," Bland said.
Her daughter Loreal Farris is still in shock that everyone made it out safe.
"I could actually just see the fire and I literally felt like a deer in headlights and I would not move," Farris said.
Their apartment only has minor water damage but their neighbors weren't as lucky. The fire marshal has marked their building as unsafe to occupy so they're left looking for new homes.
Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of the fire but say it started in the attic.
"When they realized that the fire was going to come through the roof we backed everybody out, Threw a lot of water on the fire with our ladders and then the crews went back in," said Charles Stadt a public information officer for the Lansing Fire Department.
Firefighters say water and smoke were the main causes of damage, and the building is a loss. So for now the Red Cross is trying to help the displaced families.
That help started last night when Red Cross volunteers arrived at the apartment building. They've since provided the affected families with hotel rooms and emergency supplies.
"If we can make sure that people have at least those items met then they can begin to think about how they're going to plan the rest of their recovery from this disaster," said Paul Spata, a Red Cross volunteer.
But that's just the first step, Spata say they'll continue helping these people get back on the feet.
"During that process they may contact us for some additional help," he explained.
The building management is trying to find new apartments for tenants who lost theirs in the fire.
For now the Bland family is holding on to what they still have.
"Anything could have happened so I just feel very fortunate and blessed that we got out safely and everybody else did too," Ferris said.