May 30, 2023


KALAMAZOO, MI — Kalamazoo Public Safety firefighters rescued seven people, including two children, from their balconies and sent one seriously burned man to the hospital from an overnight fire in the Village of Kalamazoo Apartments, 4410 Lilac Lane.

Asst. Chief Don Webster said he was told that a neighbor who spotted the fire had run through the building alerting other neighbors, many of whom had already gotten out of the building when firefighters arrived.Lt. Matt Huber of the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety, commander at the scene, said one building of apartments was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived following a 911 call reporting the fire at shortly before 1 a.m.

It took firefighters until about 4 a.m. to put the fire out, but crews remain on the scene Monday morning to assure it doesn’t reignite, Webster said.

Huber said at 6 a.m. firefighters were still trying to make sure all residents were accounted for.

Metro buses were at the scene to shelter people while apartment management worked with the American Red Cross to find vacant apartments or family and friends to relocate displaced people.

Twelve apartment units were heavily damaged by smoke and fire, Huber said.

Twenty-four more units are currently without power or utilities, he said.

It’s not clear yet where or how the fire started. “We believe it started on the third floor,” Webster said, since the third floor of one building is most heavily damaged. The roof of that section collapsed, Huber said.

The fire marshal is at the scene Monday morning.

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