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Inkster — Residents from two burned out buildings at an apartment complex returned on  Sunday to try and salvage what few belongings they could from their homes.

A fire on Saturday evening tore through 23 apartments at  Canterbury Woods on Tobin Drive near Gulley Road and Michigan Avenue displacing families and individuals. The fire began around 3 p.m. and quickly spread.  

The fire happened just as before the holidays as families were preparing to host Thanksgiving dinners and upcoming religious holidays.

Inkster fire and police officials did not release details about the fire on Sunday.

Alonzo and Linda Richardson Brown were among those whose apartment was destroyed. Linda Brown said it was a harrowing scene.

"Someone starting knocking on the door telling us to leave," Linda Brown said Sunday. "I didn't know (the fire)  would spread so fast."

The apartment manager, who spent Sunday directing cleanup crews as they began the task of going through the buildings and cleaning up the area, declined to comment about the fire or its aftermath.

Alonzo Brown surveyed the extensive damage Sunday, looking over to the building that he and his wife have lived in for two years and hung his head.

"It's tragic. What can you do?," said  Alonzo Brown. "It's something out of our control." 

The couple went back to their apartment to retrieve photographs and other mementos, but it was in vain, except for copies of a book she wrote about anti-bullying.

"Everything is gone," said Alonzo Brown, who noted that everyone got out safe and there were no major injuries that he has heard about.

Linda Brown said the Salvation Army was putting families and individuals up in a nearby hotel for a week. The Browns said friends of theirs are helping them look for a home.

Wafi Alzubaidi, who also burned out of his apartment,  said  he, his wife and their five children, ages 2-17, are now squeezed into a room at a nearby hotel and pondering their next move.

Alzubaidi still appeared dazed Sunday over losing the place his family calls home.

"It's so sad," said Alzubaidi as he watched workmen go through the charred buildings as broken windows exposed the  fire's devastation. "We lost everything."

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2027

 

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