LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — A fire on the 1200 block of Theodore Street and another in the next block over on Willow Street threatened several homes on Friday.
People affected described the fire like a scene out of a scary movie. When people came out of their houses to help, they found their neighborhood was covered in flames.
“We look over and there was already trees on fire. There was a fence on fire. There were other spots on fire all over the place,” said John Skinner.
Skinner was just inside his home when he noticed flames coming from a neighbor’s yard.
“I knocked on one guy’s house. I told him about the fire over by his air conditioner and put that out. I went next door and their house had a whole row of hedges in front of the house that were burning, and a big fire was going and it was going to reach their roof,” Skinner said.
Skinner says the Lansing Fire Department was working down the road trying to contain the fire. He says instead of waiting, he and a few other neighbors tried to help out.
“I went to the house next door and that house was rolling in smoke coming from the attic, so I grabbed a neighbor’s hose and started spraying the attic vent,” Skinner said.
“I see something on fire I have to do something about it. It’s just my instinct and like I said, I want to make sure everyone in my community was OK,” Skinner said.
Carl Himpelmann says with the temperatures in the 90s and with the lack of rain, it was the perfect conditions for a bad fire.
“We had all this cotton from the cotton trees everywhere starting like kindling, so random patches of grass were just setting on fire, almost like spontaneously combusting,” Himpelmann said.
Both men thanked all the crews from Lansing that prevented the fire from getting much worse. They say the bright spot in this story is seeing everyone come together during a dark time.
“The community with this house back here that I could see came together. Everybody stopped by and they brought food and did what they could do. It was really nice to see.”
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.