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Death reported after Flint apartment fire

Fire consumed a one-bedroom unit and the resident of that apartment was found dead
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 2:54 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - One person has died in an apartment fire in Flint on Monday afternoon.

A police source confirmed the death at Court Street Commons, which is a primarily senior citizen housing complex located at Court and Avon streets. The fire was reported around 1:50 p.m.

Fire officials say the flames were confined to a single one-bedroom apartment on the second floor and the man who lives in that unit died. Authorities did not identify the victim Monday evening.

“I’ve been doing it for 25 years, like I said, and it never gets easier. It’s just a horrible thing and I take it personally on each one,” Flint Fire Department Battalion Chief Ramsey Clapper said of the resident’s death. “It’s just not a nice thing.”

Flint Police Chief Terence Green said his officers arrived first after the 911 calls reporting the fire. They ran into the 148-unit building and started helping get about 140 residents out, including kicking down some doors.

Firefighters rescued the resident from the balcony of a second-floor apartment next to the fire. That person was not injured.

Another resident was transported to an area hospital for treatment of difficulty breathing. The resident of the unit where the fire broke out was pronounced dead at the scene.

Clapper said smoke and water damage is rampant throughout about 35 units, which will displace a couple dozen people. The American Red Cross was on the scene Monday afternoon to assist residents with finding medication, clothes and shelter for the night.

A Michigan State Police fire marshal was on the scene Monday evening helping investigate what sparked the fire.

Everyone who lives at Court Street Commons is at least 55 years old and the average age of residents is 70, according to the complex’s executive director. The oldest resident, who is 99 years old, lives on the floor where the fire was reported and made it out safely.

Residents say Court Street Commons does monthly fire drills, so they knew what to do when the alarms sounded Monday.

“It’s scary because we’re used to the drills and it was real,” said resident Kathy Neeley.

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