News, Rescue, Video

Detroit Firefighters, Cops Honored for Apartment Fire Rescues

Several seniors rescued from a four-alarm fire

Rod Meloni and Dane Kelly, WDIV with permission

DETROIT (WDIV) – Newly released video captured the bravery of Detroit police and firefighters who saved lives at a Detroit apartment complex.

Firefighters Rescue Seniors in Detroit Apartment Fire

Investigators believe an outdoor barbecue on a windy night caused a devastating fire in September. It happened at the Rev. Ann Johnson Elderly Apartments on Mack Avenue, near Gray Street.

The fire spread quickly and became a 4-alarm fire that lit up the Detroit sky. Quick-thinking fire crews rescued residents in a major evacuation of the building.

Video shows first responders having to break windows to enter the building. Officer Lydia Ayar and her partner had to scale a security fence to get to the residents inside. Officer Steve Anuti had to kick in doors to free tenants.

First responders were worried about seniors who had issues with mobility. While most seniors were escorted to safety, some had to be carried by police and fire crews.

It took two days for investigators to determine no one was killed in the massive fire. The building was a complete loss.

The Detroit Police Department and the Detroit Public Safety Foundation is honoring police, fire crews and medical personnel with Medals of Valor, Purple Heart Awards and Emergency Merit Awards.