Okemos apartment fire displaces dozens of families just before Christmas

Published: Dec. 21, 2022 at 6:41 PM EST
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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - Several families in Okemos are without a place to live following Wednesday’s apartment fire.

The fire broke out at about 11 a.m. at Knob Hill Apartments - located on Okemos Road - just north of Jolly Road.

First responders said about 36 apartments were damaged and DTN Management - which maintains the complex - said dozens of apartments were destroyed.

Meridian Township Fire Chief Mike Hamel said the fire started on the first floor and spread to other parts of the building.

“We started a defensive attack and within minutes it was through the roof and then it spread to the second building,” Hamel said.

It took multiple fire crews more than an hour to get the fire under control. The smoke could be seen for miles.

“We had a lot of help out of Williamston, Mason, East Lansing, Lansing,” Hamel said. “It was just nice having all the help doing what we needed to do to get the fire out.”

Knob Hill residents are required to have renters insurance, which will help reimburse lost items. DTN Management said its number one concern is for the residents and that they’ve blocked off more than 80 hotel rooms for displaced residents who need a warm place to spend Christmas.

The American Red Cross said they are working to assist as many families as possible.

“They’re doing assessments right now to find out if they need shelter, if they need immediate medications, if they need transportation and then we’re working with our partners to help arrange all of those things,” said Judi Harris, with Mid-Michigan American Red Cross.

Holiday Inn Express in Meridian Township said they will be helping families who need a place to stay.

Those who would like to help those impacted by the fire can do so by contacting the American Red Cross at 1-800-RED-CROSS (733-2767) or Meridian Township Deputy Township Manager Dan Opsommer at 517-281-6034.

Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter is collecting pet supplies for the families impacted. Donations can be dropped off at the shelter – located at 600 Buhl Street in Mason – or at Holiday Inn Express – located at 2350 Jolly Oak Road in Okemos.

You can also help through Meridian Cares. When you donate, you need to specify you are donating to the Knob Hill Apartment fire victims.

Some places are no longer accepting items due to the influx of those willing to donate. News 10 is working to talk with those places to learn more. You can learn more from Meridian Township here.

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