Two firefighters injured in Lansing townhouse fire

Neighbors took action when fire started
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 9:10 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - We are learning more about a fire that burned a home in southwest Lansing Friday.

Neighbors gave News 10 an eyewitness account of what happened, and it was definitely a dangerous scene. One firefighter was sent to the hospital on a stretcher after part of the roof collapsed on him.

Fire officials say nobody was inside the unit at the Sycamore Townhomes when the fire started. People in neighboring units said it felt like something out of a movie.

Gage Parker says he broke down the door to his neighbor’s apartment as it became clear it was on fire.

“I just got out of the shower and I heard my mom screaming,” Parker said. “I came out and there was a whole bunch of smoke over there, and I kicked the door in to make sure nobody was in there.”

Nobody was home, though the fire was burning hot enough to have broken through the roof by the time firefighters got here, making it a danger to the surrounding homes.

Lansing Fire Department Assistant Chief Michael Tobin said, “It’s very unusual for us to see a fire this large, this quick, in the middle of the day in an occupied neighborhood. But, you know, they attacked it quickly.”

Nobody living in the apartments was hurt, but two Lansing firemen were injured. One of them seriously enough to go to the hospital.

“When I had first kicked in the door there were flames and everything came back at me,” Parker said. “Like a movie.”

Day’jain Lenoir says he ran out of his home with a fire extinguisher to try to help. He grabbed his jersey for his basketball game tomorrow just in case the fire spread.

“Like he said, it was like a movie,” Day’jain said. “There was smoke everywhere.”

Donlunto Jackson lives on the opposite side. The fire just missed his unit. He says he’s grateful the fire department got here as soon as they did.

“I looked out the window to see what type of day it was going to be,” Jackson said. “Ain’t no telling how close it would have gotten if they wouldn’t have got here.”

Investigators haven’t said what caused the fire or if there’s anything suspicious about it.

The fire department tells us the firefighter who’s in the hospital is conscious. He’s being treated at Sparrow and is expected to be OK.

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