Fire Kills One, Destroys Building

By: John Tramontana Email
By: John Tramontana Email

An apartment fire in Owosso kills one and sends three others to the hospital.

"It's heartbreaking, all we need is another fire downtown." said Owosso resident Sharon Gillett.

All Owosso residents could do was sit back and watch as another downtown building caught fire.

"Just about the whole building was in flames. About 20 foot flames off the top of the building," said Curtis Martin, who lives just down the street from the building.

The fire broke out around 6 am on Wednesday at an apartment complex. One resident of the building told us the blaze began next door to his home. He says women were screaming and one even jumped out of the window before firefighters arrived.

Some came out of the windows on their own, some were rescued by our guys," said Captain Chris Hawn of the Owosso Fire Department.
Captain Hawn says a few of the victims were taken to area hospitals for non-life threatening injuries.

Businesses were also damaged. Including a wedding boutique where employees rushed to save as many gowns as possible.

The apartment fire is just the latest structural blaze in a series of fires to hit Owosso. Just five months ago the Lebowsky Theater was destroyed. A year before that, the city's bowling alley.

Firefighters say it could be due to old wiring in the buildings though a cause has not yet been determined. Still, they're hoping building owners will bring their properties up to code.

"We just started our inspection program so hopefully with that some of these owners will make improvements on their buildings, which will make them safer," Hawn said.

Residents say losing another historical building takes away from the city's charm.

"It's been pretty drastic the last couple years here," Martin added.

"It's so heartbreaking to lose a piece of our city," said Gillett. "There's nothing like a burned building."

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