Families recover following Jackson house fire

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JACKSON, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s been a tough day for several families in Jackson. A fire tore through their homes last night in the 600-block of Steward Avenue.

Today, they had to sift through what they’ve lost.

“We went to open the door and there was just black smoke in the hallway and came rushing into the apartment, so we all just grabbed each other and scattered out the apartment,” said resident Terell Estelle.

Estelle was home last night watching television when he began to smell smoke, realizing there was a fire.

“We really only had one way out, so if we didn’t recognize it in time, how would we have got out? Like we could’ve been dead up in that apartment, so it’s a lot of things that could’ve happened,” said Estelle.

Officials say the apartment house fire on Steward Avenue started on the second floor of the five-unit house.

The damage is severe, but building owner Bob Bruton is just glad that everyone got out safely.

“The building, this stuff can be replaced, but if I would’ve lost a person here, that’s never happened to me in the fires I’ve had in the number of years that I’ve done this, I’ve never had that happen, I hope I never do,” said Bruton.

Jim Philo is a volunteer with the American Red Cross and is helping those who live there get back on their feet.

“It’s what we’re here for. It’s to help the community and help these people recover from, from something like this, that’s what we’re here for,” said Philo.

“We just happened to lose a whole bunch of valuables, our home, and that’s about it, but we didn’t lose our lives, so that’s a good thing,” said Estelle.

Officials are still investigating exactly how the fire started.

Stay with 6 News as this story develops.

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