The blaze engulfed all four floors of the building, officials said.

The blaze engulfed all four floors of the building, officials said.

Photo by Kayla Dimick

Apartment blaze displaces residents

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published January 30, 2019

 Caution tape blocks a door to the Atrium Apartments, which caught fire last week.

Caution tape blocks a door to the Atrium Apartments, which caught fire last week.

Photo by Kayla Dimick


SOUTHFIELD — Residents of a local apartment complex are utilizing emergency response services after a recent fire displaced them from their homes. 

The blaze reportedly broke out at around 4 p.m. Jan. 24 at the Atrium Apartments, 16200 W. Nine Mile Road, and crews from the Southfield Fire Department arrived on the scene within five minutes. 

According to a written statement released on Facebook from Southfield Fire Chief Johnny Menifee, each level of the four-story apartment complex was engulfed in flames, as was the roof. 

Menifee said that after Southfield crews arrived, the fire was elevated to a three-alarm fire. 

In addition to Southfield crews, the Redford Fire Department, as well as the eight fire departments of the Oakway Mutual Aid group — made up of fire departments in Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, Farmington Hills, Ferndale, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Waterford and West Bloomfield — responded to the scene. 

Crews battled the fire well into the early morning hours of Jan. 25, Menifee said. 

Around 85 residents of the apartment complex were displaced, and 43 units were destroyed. 

Menifee said one resident was sent to the hospital for smoke inhalation, and two Southfield firefighters suffered minor injuries. 

“Given the scope and breadth of the fire, this could have been a very different story,” Menifee said in the statement. 

Along with the fire departments from around the region, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the Oakland County Incident Management Team, the Southfield Police Department, Southfield Homeland Security, Star EMS, Consumers Energy and DTE Energy all assisted. 

Menifee said the fire could have been devastating if the Fire Department had not received the help that it did. 

“It’s partnerships like these that make our region safer. We are thankful for your time, resources and service to our community,” Menifee said in the statement. 

The American Red Cross disaster action team opened a shelter for displaced residents at the Southfield Parks and Recreation Department building, on Evergreen Road. The last resident left the shelter Jan. 27, officials said. 

At the shelter, displaced residents were provided with meals, as well as a safe place to stay and mental health assistance, according to  Vicki Eichstaedt, who does community relations for the American Red Cross. 

Eichstaedt said the Red Cross has set up an office in the Atrium Apartments leasing office to continue to help residents. 

“We do need to meet with everyone who was affected by the fire so we can help them with their recovery plans and provide them with referrals to other agencies and connect them with other services we offer,” she said. 

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

A representative of the Atrium Apartments could not be reached for comment by press time.