The Three Rivers Fire Department (TRFD) was dispatched at 10:38 a.m. Saturday (June 9) to 415 Thomas Street, Waterfront Apartments, for a reported structure fire. The first truck arrived on scene at 10:40 to find heavy fire in a third floor apartment that had already spread to the attic. As the Three Rivers Police Department assisted with evacuating the 24 unit apartment building, an aggressive interior fire attack was initiated by the TRFD and initial-aid crews from the Fabius-Park Fire Department.
As exterior crews knocked down the apartment fire, interior crews pulled ceilings in other third floor apartments in order to attack the fire in the attic. It was later discovered that the fire had already breached a fire wall and was extending to another when crews managed to knock the fire down. The fire displaced residents out of 12 units; most as a precautionary measure. Fire damage was limited to the apartment of origin and the roof over the apartment of origin. Smoke and overhaul damage was limited to three units on the third floor. Water damage was limited to the units below the apartment of origin.
There were no injuries reported by any of the residents. While the heat and labor intensive operation took its toll on firefighters, the only injury reported was a minor ankle strain. Crews remained on scene for several hours to monitor hot spots, and hourly checks were conducted throughout the night.
The TRFD was assisted on scene by the Constantine Fire Department, Life Care Ambulance, and St. Joseph County Victim Services Unit. Units from Centreville Fire and South Kalamazoo County moved up to provide additional coverage during fire operations. The Red Cross was also on scene to assist the displaced residents. An investigator from the Michigan State Police Fire Marshal Division is expected on scene Monday to investigate the cause of the fire.
Source: News release from Three Rivers Fire Department
Editor’s Note: This post was expanded at 1:40 p.m. 6-11-12 by adding the photo provided by a neighbor.