Residents Jump To Safety In Michigan Fire

A woman was dangling from a third-story window, held by a man inside.


Residents jumped to safety when an Ann Arbor apartment building caught fire early Monday morning.

The fire started at the State Street apartment building, located near the University of Michigan campus in the 1600 block of State at Stimson Street, just before 1 a.m., Local 4 learned. Bystanders yelled to officers who arrived at the scene that people were trapped in the building, according to a report in The Ann Arbor News .

"The fire was extending out of the front windows when we got there,'' Ann Arbor Fire Battalion Chief Mike French said in the paper's report.

Jessica Gumerson, a resident who was treated for smoke inhalation, said, "I just closed my eyes and ran through it."

A second woman was dangling from a third-story window, held by a man inside, the paper reported. The man was instructed by firefighters to drop the woman, and she was caught by crews on the ground, according to the report. Officers then told the man to wait until crews were in position to catch him, but he jumped early and landed on an officer's leg, the paper reported.

The officer suffered a minor injury. The man who jumped suffered a possible broken ankle, according to police in the paper's report.

Five people -- three men and two women -- were transported to the University of Michigan Medical Center. Three victims suffered smoke inhalation, one with a possible broken ankle and one with lacerations, the paper reported. The victims were all expected to recover.

Residents were expected to be displaced for several weeks because of damage from fire, smoke and water.

University of Michigan officials were locating housing for students who lived in the 12-unit apartment building. Red Cross officials were assisting non-students, Local 4 reported.

French said the blaze does not appear to be suspicious, according to the paper's report. Preliminary investigation revealed that the blaze may have started near an electrical strip in one of the apartment units, according to the paper's report.

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