Victim identified in Knob Hill Apartments fire in Okemos

Published: Dec. 27, 2022 at 1:21 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 27, 2022 at 5:15 PM EST
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OKEMOS, Mich. (WILX) - Police have identified the man who died during a fire on Wednesday at Knob Hill Apartments.

Background: 1 killed in Knob Hill Apartment fire in Okemos

Fire officials identified the victim Tuesday as 52-year-old Raymond Naseef. He was found after the fire had been extinguished.

On Wednesday, Dec. 21, two buildings at Knob Hill Apartments caught fire. The Meridian Township Police and Fire Department went to the incident and helped evacuate the buildings. Both buildings were significantly damaged in the fire, displacing dozens of families.

Miki Perpignani lived in Building Three with her best friend, Briana Nelson. She said a migraine had sent her home early from work and within 20 minutes, her life began to change.

“I heard someone pounding on the door and I opened the door and there was smoke and I just went into action mode,” Perpignani recalled. “A policeman guided me through from the balcony. She said that I could run through the hallway, but I didn’t have much time. And so I had my kitten wrapped in a blanket that I grabbed from under the couch and we ran through the hallway. My hair got singed, the blanket’s burned, I got burned.”

Her roommate said the community has been a big help after losing everything. After not being allowed to save personal items, Perpignani and Nelson were left with only the clothes on their backs.

“We’re still struggling to find what we need and get what we need right now,” Nelson said. “We lost everything from clothes, sentimental things, to pictures and our furniture, our beds, everything.”

Meridian Township’s ongoing efforts to help displaced residents resulted in a Christmas Eve party for those in need. The Township said they have raised more than $100,000 to help families.

Related: Community rallies behind victims of Okemos apartment fire

“We’ve been working on auditing each unit so that we know we have the right names, the right people, people who were affected,” said township manager Frank Walsh. “We want to do this the right way. And so we have just over 30 units and people who were living there will receive checks on Thursday.”

Walsh said all funds were donated by people who live in or care about the community.

“The community didn’t donate the funds for it to sit in our bank account,” Walsh said. “We plan to meet with every impacted Knob Hill resident on Thursday to provide them with some resources to help them get back on their feet.”

People who are looking to help victims of the fire can contact Meridian Cares.

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