Updated/with gallery: Kitchen fire burns man trying to put it out; woman injured jumping from window
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A man was burned over 30 percent of his body trying to put out a kitchen fire in his apartment, and a resident of an adjacent apartment suffered minor injuries when she jumped out a window to escape Tuesday afternoon in Ypsilanti, firefighters said.
Melanie Maxwell | AnnArbor.com
Ypsilanti firefighters, along with those from Ann Arbor and Pittsfield and Ypsilanti townships, trained hoses on the blaze and brought it under control in about 40 minutes.
Firefighters said the 35-year-old male resident of the apartment tried to put the fire out with an extinguisher, burning his hands in the process.
“The fire started in the kitchen,” said Capt. Dan Cain of the Ypsilanti Fire Department. “The tenant said he was outside, came back inside when he started seeing smoke. He had something on the stove. He came back in the house, found the fire in the kitchen area. He tried to hit it with an extinguisher. That’s how he got burned." A 45-year-old woman in an adjacent apartment, which had filled with smoke, jumped out a window and rolled down a garage on the property, firefighters said.
“There was no doubt she had to get out,” Cain said.
Nathan Foley, of Ypsilanti, was in the garage where he works fixing cars and arcade games at the time the woman rolled onto it.
“We've got squirrels up in the ceiling, but that was more than a squirrel I heard,” he said. “I came out the back door and she was sitting on the roof screaming and hollering. She couldn’t get off. Smoke was coming out real bad. I had to get her off.”
Foley said the 35-year-old man, who had escaped from his burning apartment, helped get her off.
The man was transported to U-M Hospital with first and second degree burns over 20 to 30 percent of his body, Cain said.
The 45-year-old woman who crawled out of her window was taken to St. Joseph Mercy Hospital with minor injuries.
The house, which had been converted to several apartments, suffered fire damage, smoke and water damage throughout.
Stewart Beal, of Beal Properties which owns the house, said the residents of the apartment house will be able to stay at one of his other nearby properties and have the option to move back into 20 N. Summit once repair work is finished.
Red Cross was also on the scene. Ten volunteers from the Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter of the American Red Cross assisted seven residents with food, clothing, lodging and health services.
Cain said the department had a full complement of six firefighters on duty today, which allowed them to attack the fire immediately upon arrival rather than waiting for mutual aid, thereby limiting property damage.
“It was a hell of a fire, I’ll tell you that,” Foley said. “It was just billowing black smoke.”
Cindy Heflin contributed to this report.