Fire Displaces Several Grand Ledge Families

By: Shannon Kantner Email
By: Shannon Kantner Email

"I'm just thankful that I have my friends and my family, and that I'm ok."

-Shannon Mitchell, lost everything in fire

It's homecoming night in Grand Ledge, but several families don't have a place to come home to.

An early morning apartment fire has left many people with nothing but what they could grab on the way out.

"I don't know where I'm going to go, I don't know what I'm going to do," Shannon Mitchell said.

For now, Mitchell is staying at a hotel, because even though it might not look like it from the outside, her apartment off Old Mill Pond Road in Grand Ledge is no longer liveable.

"The fire started above my apartment, so my apartment got the worst of it," Mitchell said through tears. "They had to cut the ceilings out. Pretty much everything is... I have nothing."

Apartment management said least six apartments are a total loss out of 18 in the building. They'll have to be gutted and completely restored. The Mid-Michigan Chapter of the American Red Cross is helping the families that lived there get back on their feet for now.

"We're providing food and clothing and any other immediate needs, maybe prescription medicine or eyeglasses," Alison Bono of the Mid-Michigan Red Cross said. "So, we're trying to help them move forward, and it's a difficult time, especially this where people lost so much."

Five families lost nearly everything. The 12 other apartments didn't suffer as much damage, but the people living there are still in shock.

"Probably the scariest moment in my life," Kim Symonds said.

Many people were asleep with their families, but everyone made it out of the building safely.

"First thing was just grab the daughter, get outside," Joseph Burman said. "We were lucky. It could have been much much worse for us."

For many it was worse, and now they're just trying to look at the bright side.

"I'm just thankful that I have my friends and my family, and that I'm ok," Mitchell said.

Management has already begun demolishing some of the apartments. Officials don't know what caused the fire yet.

People on the scene said they believe the fire started in the attic area, and that's why the third floor has the most damage.

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