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Fire forces residents out of their apartments

August 20, 2012
By GARRETT NEESE , Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - Residents of Heritage Manor will be out of their home at least a week following a fire at the senior housing complex Friday morning.

The fire is believed to have started about 10 a.m. in a fifth-floor kitchen.

Two people were taken to Portage Health as a result of the fire, said Robert Megowen of the Houghton City Fire Department, including one resident who was wheezing and a firefighter who was treated for smoke inhalation.

Article Photos

Smoke billows out of a fifth-floor apartment at the Heritage Manor in Houghton Friday morning. The fire broke out about 10 a.m. on the upper floor of the building. Residents have been temporarily relocated to Michigan Tech University dormitories.(Houghton Daily Mining Gazette photo by Garrett Neese)

Most of the approximately 40 Heritage Manor residents were taken to Dee Stadium. They will stay temporarily at Michigan Tech University's Wadsworth Hall dormitory.

"Before we got the first person out of the building, shelter was set up," Megowen said.

Standing on the corner of Huron Street and Montezuma Avenue, two-year Heritage Manor resident Jeff Anderson watched as smoke billowed from the back of the building.

"I was just about to take a shower when I heard the alarms go off," he said. "I saw smoke in the hallway so I knew I had to get out of there. I grabbed my cell phone, charger, checkbook and some cash. That's about all I had time to get."

Most of the fire damage was confined to the fifth floor, although there was water damage throughout the building.

"There's water dripping into the first-floor lobby right now," Houghton firefighter Mike Gloss said.

One complication in the fire was the lack of a sprinkler system, Gloss said.

"There was nothing in place to help take down the fire," he said.

The Houghton City Fire Department was assisted by departments from Hancock, Hurontown and Calumet Township. Also assisting were the Houghton City Police Department, Houghton County Sheriff's Office, Michigan State Police, Mercy EMS and American Red Cross.

While food is not needed, people can donate money or clothing to the Heritage Manor residents, said Houghton police Lt. Nick Roberts. To donate, call the city of Houghton at 482-1700, or send donations to the Houghton City Center c/o the Houghton Housing Commission, 616 Shelden Ave., Houghton, MI 49930.



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