Residents of West Wind Apartments displaced due to fire

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. -- At least 30 homes are damaged after a fire at West Wind Apartments. 

It happened just before 11 a.m. in building G, at the very back of the complex, which caused some trouble for fire crews – not only because they were trying to get enough water back there, but also because of the age of the building.  

“Those type of apartments were built before they were required to have fire stops and what happened with this one is it started in the bottom floor – which is kind of like a sub floor here – went exterior and walked it’s way up, once it walks up the wall it gets into the attic,” said Chief Robert Adams with the Buchanan City Fire Department. 

The building was unsalvageable, but all of its residents were able to escape uninjured. Some pets are still missing.  

Just next door to West Wind, the Church Of Nazarene sprung into action once they saw the blaze. 

“We started to see how large the fire was so immediately we decided to open up the building, so I called the police and asked if that’s a need for the community for right now,” said Pastor Brendan Shea.

Officers also activated the Salvation Army and Red Cross, which are working to help those who have lost their home.

“We have water, we’re working on getting dinner together and snacks, blankets and hand warmers, we have rental assistance available to hopefully help people get into new homes,” said Lt. Kendra Hixenbauth with the Salvation Army of Niles. 

Chief Adams said they are working with the resident of the apartment where this started – which is on the first floor of building G — to figure out the exact cause.

Right now, they don’t suspect any foul play. 

The Church Of Nazarene, Red Cross, and Salvation Army will all continue to offer shelter to anyone needing it this week.

 

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