Lincoln Park — The knock came on Marcia Allen’s door just after 3 a.m. Friday that a fire was raging and she needed to flee the two-story apartment she lived in since last February.
With just slippers and the clothes on her back, she escaped in the bitter cold of the night along with others in the Indian Village apartment building near Goddard and Fort streets.
Fire officials said no one was injured, except a firefighter slipping on ice that formed due to water to fight the fire. They are investigating the cause of the blaze at the apartments but residents said they believe it was caused by someone flicking a cigarette on a balcony.
“My roommate was yelling, you’ve got to get up, you’ve got to get up, the building’s on fire,” said Allen, 42, as she shivered outside what was left of her apartment. “I got up, put my slippers on, grabbed my purse with some of my medications.”
Allen said police and fire officials told her the roof was going to cave in. “I didn’t have time enough to grab anything,” she said. “I lost my TV, my bed, all my clothes. I lost everything.”
Steve Martin, the fire chief of Lincoln Park, said when firefighters arrived “we had fire through the roof” of the building. It took more than three hours to put out the fire, he said, and departments from nearby Ecorse, Wyandotte and Southgate came in to help.
“We tried to make sure all the occupants were out,” he said. “We were forced to go defensive because the roof was coming down.”
The Red Cross was called in to help residents and were on scene interviewing people at daybreak.
Michael Stewart, 61, said he heard people knocking and then he saw fire coming down the wall of his apartmentonn the bottom floor.
“Smoke started to build up and got really strong out there,” Stewart said. “I put something on and tried to get out of there.”