GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – Dozens of residents have been evacuated after a fire broke out on the roof of an apartment building in downtown Grand Rapids.

Smoke and flames billowed from the roof of Ferguson Apartments in the Heartside neighborhood just before noon Sunday.

No one was hurt.

Like many apartment buildings, false alarms are not uncommon at Ferguson, a six-story affordable housing complex located at Sheldon Boulevard SE and Oakes Street SE.

Resident Charles Holmes thought this time was no different.

But he evacuated anyway.

” I came out. I could smell some burnt plastic. I looked on the roof and there was just black smoke. By the time I got out and turned around they had already taken it out, ”Holmes said.

Sixth-floor resident Luis Agosto was also happy to be outside and safe.

“I just got out of my room. The alarms started ringing and I left. When I got out I saw the smoke. The whole building was on fire and smoke.

The building was under renovation. It is not known if the renovations caused the fire.

Intense flames made their way through the roof to the top floor.

Ferguson Apartments is owned by Dwelling Place and is home to over 80 Heartside residents, some with physical limitations presenting another challenge for firefighters.

“This is why the second alarm was sounded: for about 40 firefighters to be on site to evacuate all occupants – some who needed help evacuating due to the smoke conditions in the upper floors,” said Grand Rapids Fire Captain Paul Mason.

Within minutes, firefighters on an aerial platform hit the roof with water.

The smoke cleared. But smoke and water damage caused quite a bit on several apartments.

The Red Cross is helping to find temporary accommodation for people displaced by the fire.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. And they always add up the damage.

But at the end of the day, one thing mattered.

“Everyone came out safe and sound,” Agosto said. “Everyone did well.”

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