A senior home is evacuated after an early morning fire Saturday

Published On: Nov 17 2012 10:38:16 AM EST   Updated On: Nov 17 2012 07:38:01 PM EST

Shleby Twp., Mich. -

More than a dozen fire departments -- including Utica, Washington, Sterling Heights and Warren -- assisted the Shelby Township fire department early Saturday morning at a fire in the Shelby Manor Senior Housing.

It started about 7 a.m. in unit B in the complex, which is off Lakeside Boulevard.

And with the elevators down -- some seniors had no way out.

Lowell Markus says he was worried about his friends in the building.

"It's terrible with wheel chairs, walkers and canes. It's a lot of problems," Markus said. 

Shelby Township Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski says he called in ladder trucks from other departments to help get the seniors off the balconies to safety.

He says everyone made it out with no serious injuries.

"It's great. Somehow people come together during an emergency," Swinkowski said. 

All the residents of Unit B gathered at the community hall at the complex where emergency officials kept them up to date with reports of the damage.

Most of the damage was contained to an isolated area but firefighters say there is water damage throughout the building.

"Because of the nature of the resident population. We couldn't verify if someone could get to the door or not. Every single door has been broken," Swinkowski said.

The fire remains under investigation.

The Red Cross responded Saturday morning as well to the Shelby Manor Senior Apartments in Shelby Township

Over 30 families were affected by the fire and will be displaced for some time.

The Red Cross is providing assistance for approximately 20 families affected by the fire at this time.  In a response like this the Red Cross provides food, clothing and shelter to those who are in need.

The Red Cross is prepared to assist more residents as they return to the apartment complex.

"At this time we are assisting the residents who have been affected by the fire at the complex now.  As people return, they will be directed to the Red Cross if they need assistance." said Toyia Yancey, Emergency Services Specialist at the Red Cross.


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