MERIDIAN TWP, Mich. (WLNS) – People who lost everything in the fire at Knob Hill Apartments in Meridian Township are speaking out after many claim they did not hear any smoke detectors or fire alarms when the building was engulfed.
Some also claim the renters’ insurance policy was misleading.
Two people said when they signed their leases before move-in day, they assumed the monthly fee for renters insurance would cover their personal items in the event of a tragedy like the fire from last month. But that has not been the case. They also claim that during the fire, they had to door knock to notify other residents because they did not hear any alarms.
“People had to literally get let off of their balconies because the hallways were filled with smoke, and they didn’t even know there was a fire going on,” said Graham.
That’s according to Megan Graham and Trisha Funk. who were just a few of the people who lost everything in a fire at Knob Hill on December 22nd where one person died.
“Our first thing was that we saw flames, and not that we heard a smoke detector. And not that we heard a fire alarm because none of those things were going off,” said Funk.
As they work to pick up the pieces, they say there was another devastating blow.
“Every month on our billing statement, it would say renters insurance $10. So we were under the impression that what we were paying for was renters insurance. So when this happened, I thought to myself, okay. We’ve been paying our renters insurance, we’re gonna be okay,” Funk said.
But Funk says the management company’s insurance policy is misleading, since they were not notified it would not cover their personal belongings. The policy only covers damages to the building.
“Between the smoke alarms and fire extinguishers, all fire safety, the lack of inspections, and the renters’ insurance on top of it, you know there is something we can go after DTN for here,” said Graham.
The Meridian Township manager, Frank Walsh, says the last inspection at Knob Hill took place in 2017. The inspection in 2020 never happened because of COVID.
But Funk says she wants those living in apartments to learn from the victims of Knob Hill.
“Make sure you have insurance, and that you have something. Because you never think your apartment is going to burn down. And then it does, and you lose everything,” said Funk.
Both Graham and Funk say they want to thank the community, the Red Cross, and Meridian Care for stepping up during this difficult time in their lives.
As for the investigation into the fire, Meridian Township Fire Department will have the results in about two weeks.