Woman injured in apartment fire, family survives house fire

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published March 1, 2016


ROCHESTER HILLS — Local firefighters recently fought residential fires in an apartment and a house.

According to Rochester Hills Fire Chief Sean Canto, a local woman suffered minor injuries while jumping from her second-floor apartment during a 12:50 p.m. Feb. 26 fire in the 400 block of Kensington Drive, near Hamlin and Rochester roads.

Heavy flames and smoke were reportedly coming out of a second-story window, Canto said. When firefighters arrived, they discovered the injured woman outside. The woman was transported to Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester and was treated for minor injuries, including a back injury, burns and smoke inhalation.

The woman told fire investigators that she believes a box of tissues placed next to a burning candle started the fire. Canto said the fire began in the apartment living room and spread throughout the apartment. The woman was alone at the time, and the fire did not spread to other units or to the roof, Canto said. Neighboring apartments were evacuated, and an apartment unit below the fire location sustained water damage.

Members of the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office Fire Investigations Unit responded for an investigation.

In a separate incident, four family members successfully escaped injury during a 6:50 a.m. Feb. 25 house fire in the 2000 block of Hillendale, near Walton Boulevard and Adams Road, Canto said. A family member awoke to the smell of smoke early in the morning, evacuated the house and called the Fire Department.

Canto said the fire was determined to have started in a wall behind the fireplace in the home’s family room. The fire spread, and when firefighters arrived, the fire had engulfed a portion of the roof.

“The house received significant damage but was not totaled,” Canto said.

Home fires are more prevalent in winter than in any other season, according to local fire officials, due in part to an increase in cooking and heating fires. Winter storms can interrupt electrical service and cause people to turn to alternative heating sources that also contribute to an increased risk of fire.