One person is dead and several others are injured after a massive early morning apartment fire in Quincy.
According to WTVB and The Daily Reporter, it happened around 3:20 this morning at 58 W. Chicago Street, just west of downtown.
Quincy, Coldwater, Lakeland, Bronson, and Allen fire crews all responded, with a Fremont crew standing by at the Lakeland fire department while the fight was underway.
The first reports said there were people trapped on the second floor of the converted house, and officials were anticipating several injuries, prompting ambulances to be called in from Marshall and Hillsdale.
No names have been released at this time, but we do have some details.
One woman had managed to escape through a window to the roof of a porch, where she jumped to the ground, and was injured in the fall.
That woman’s daughter, son-in-law, and son-in-law’s cousin were all found unconscious after they had attempted to escape down some hallway steps. The son-in-law was pronounced dead at the scene.
The daughter and the son-in-law’s cousin were among four people taken to Coldwater Regional Hospital for smoke inhalation treatment, and the two of them are expected to be transferred. It’s unclear whether the other two were admitted or transferred.
Two dogs were also killed in the blaze.
The 80-year-old house was divided into nine apartments, six of which were being rented. The inferno caused serious damage to several of the units, mostly at the front of the building, while the rest had obvious smoke damage. No word yet on the cost or whether or not repairs can be made.
Crews got the blaze under control around 5 AM, and the effort forced the shutdown of U.S. 12 for several hours. The cause is still under investigation.
The Red Cross and the Branch County Sheriff’s Victim Services Unit are assisting the residents, and a free dinner for the victims, their families, and first responders was scheduled for this evening, hosted by the Union Diner and the Union Church of Quincy.
While not directly involved, the Hillsdale Township Fire Department sent along their support on Facebook, offering thoughts and prayers to the families of the deceased, and encouraging the crews who responded, saying “Keep your heads held high, brothers.”