Sandy Pines Residents Relieved All Are Safe Following Fire - Northern Michigan's News Leader

Sandy Pines Residents Relieved All Are Safe Following Fire

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Eight units destroyed, and even more damaged by smoke and water after a fire tore through this apartment building.

Crews were called out to the Sandy Pines apartment complex in Kalkaska Township just after 1 PM.

No one was hurt, but many are now displaced.

16 people lost their homes in the fire, and some were taken to hospitals with smoke inhalation.

But tonight, everyone is grateful the situation didn't become more devastating.

"At first my wife, she pretty much said, 'Somebody's having one heck of a barbeque,' and I'm like, 'Oh yeah?' so I look out the window."

From his apartment, Matthew Hickman could tell it wasn't a barbeque, it was something much more serious.

"I rushed down here, the first thing that was on my mind was to let everybody know because I didn't see nobody coming out of the apartment complex," Hickman explained.

Inside the building, Charles Weaver was just sitting down to eat.

"All of a sudden, I just started smelling smoke. So I put my coat on, and came outside, and I looked over at the 'G' building, and the whole top was just engulfed with flames," Weaver described.

As the fire continued to grow, Matthew and his wife, Regyna, were risking their own safety and alerting tenants to get out.

"It was smokey and it was hot and everything else. Most of them were coming out, one lady we had to help, she was in her apartment and she couldn't walk or anything so we had to get her in her chair and get her out," said Regyna Hickman.

Tonight, a sense of relief at Sandy Pines, knowing everyone made it out alive.

"It was a little panic, and a little fear at first. Glad I got out with my life instead of material things."

The cause and origin of the fire are still under investigation.

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