Southfield apartment complex blaze under investigation

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published May 1, 2019

 Caution tape and plywood block off a unit April 29 at the Sutton Place Apartments, 23275 Riverside Drive, after a fire destroyed two units.

Caution tape and plywood block off a unit April 29 at the Sutton Place Apartments, 23275 Riverside Drive, after a fire destroyed two units.

Photo by Kayla Dimick

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SOUTHFIELD — Firefighters from several local departments were called to battle a late-night fire April 27.

According to a post on the Southfield Fire Department’s Facebook page, responders were dispatched at 10:58 p.m. to the Sutton Place Apartments, 23275 Riverside Drive.

When crews arrived at the scene at 11:04 p.m., they were met with heavy smoke and fire conditions, and the incident was immediately upgraded to a three-alarm fire. Flames could be seen from the roof of the building.

Capt. Patrick Charette said crews were met with 20- to 30-foot flames coming from the back of a center unit.

Fire Chief Johnny Menifee said crews from several surrounding communities came to assist in the battle under the Oakway Fire Department Mutual Aid Group.

Oakway is a group of eight fire departments in southern Oakland County — Birmingham, Bloomfield Township, Ferndale, Madison Heights, Royal Oak, Southfield, Waterford and West Bloomfield — that provide fire and emergency medical services to nearly 500,000 residents.

Charette said four residents from two units were displaced by the fire.

“Southfield Emergency Management was activated and assisted with logistics, as well as displaced tenants,” Charette said. “Working in cooperation with the Sutton Place on-scene management team, they were able to assist those residents with temporary accommodations.”

Several apartment units were damaged due to the fire, but Menifee said crews are still investigating the extent of the damage.

“We don’t know the full extent of the damage. We’re actually going to evaluate the stability of the building with our Building Department, and then after that we’re going to finish the investigation,” Menifee said.

According to Charette, three Southfield firefighters sustained minor injuries, which did not require treatment.

Charette said 22 Southfield firefighters responded to the scene, along with 27 additional personnel from Oakway.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, Menifee said.

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