Apartment fire in Shelby causes minimal damage

January 16, 2023

Photo courtesy of Shelby-Benona Fire Department

Apartment fire in Shelby causes minimal damage

‘We definitely dodged a bullet on this one.’

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor

SHELBY — Approximately 30 firefighters from three departments responded to an apartment fire at Park Place Apartments, located at 415 N. State St. across the street from Cherry Hill Super Market, Monday, Jan. 16, shortly before 7 a.m., according to Shelby-Benona Fire Chief Jack White.

Fortunately, a passerby noticed the fire on an upstairs balcony and called 911. “A gentleman was walking his daughter to school down the paved trail between the soccer field and Park Place,” said Chief White. “He was walking her over to the middle school to catch the bus, and he looked up and saw fire on the balcony of a second-floor unit.

“The fire appeared to be out when we got there, and upon investigation, we found some damage inside. The fire appeared to have been at floor level on the second level and dropped a little downstairs.” Damage occurred to the apartment below.

“The cause of it turned out to be the fire started on the deck outside and then got into the walls.”

There was minimal damage from the fire itself, said White, but firefighters had to open some ceilings and walls to investigate. It was initially believed to be an electrical fire.

“Most of the damage was caused by us. We knocked the fire down with a 2 ½ gallon water can fire extinguisher.

“After investigation by the county fire investigation team, it was determined to have been caused by discarded smoking material on the deck of the second floor. It set a blanket on fire and caused it to go up the wall and go into the structure a little bit.”

No one was injured.

Firefighters from Hart, Shelby and Grant Township responded to the scene. The scene was cleared after about an hour and a half, said White.

The chief said he was extremely concerned when he first received the call. “On the way down, I had much greater visions. When they said it was outside on the deck, I’m thinking it’s going to get into the soffit and get into the attic, and now we have a major problem. The City of Walker had one last week that started much the same way.”

Shelby’s aerial ladder truck with three firefighters was first on scene.

“We definitely dodged a bullet on this one.”

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