DETROIT (AP) — A fire ripped through a Detroit apartment building early this morning, forcing dozens of adults and children to leap to safety from second- and third-story windows as the flames intensified.
Arson investigators and cadaver dogs were set to begin sifting through the charred wood and brick rubble at the Jason Manor Apartments on the west side of the city later in the day. No deaths had been reported, but the dogs were on standby because some residents still had not been found by early this afternoon.
"It's hard to nail down," said Detroit Fire Department Capt. Pat McNulty, who added that some people leave on their own or get rides from relatives after fires.
The collapsed roof made it hard for firefighters to search, said Tracy Thomas, a fire battalion chief. Thomas was hopeful no bodies would be recovered.
At least four people were taken to hospitals and several others were treated for minor injuries at the scene, according to Fire Commissioner Jonathan Jackson.
Of the building's 42 units, 39 were occupied, he added.
Tameka Williams, 28, was awakened to the fire around 6 a.m. by her boyfriend. She said they tried to leave their apartment with her two children, ages 8 and 6, but there was too much smoke outside the door.
"We went to the window and I dropped them down, then I jumped down and then he jumped down," Williams said. She said the children weren't injured but that her leg hurt a bit.
"I lost everything. I'm alive. I'm still here. That other stuff can be replaced," she said.