Seniors flee for safety as Rosehaven Manor burns in flames
Sun, 22 Apr 2012 22:51:07 GMT —
Update: 4:00 p.m. - Rosehaven Manor residents were allowed back in the complex Monday to gather belongings. Many were still visibly shaken by the fire that destroyed 36 units Sunday afternoon.
"It was terrible. I feared for everyone because it (fire) moved so fast," said 84-year old Evelyn Stewart.
Evelyn said she was one of the lucky ones. She was taking a walk when the massive fire broke out.
"We sat by the fence and watched the building burn," said Evelyn.
Evelyn was one of dozens allowed to return to the complex and gather some belongings Monday morning.
86-year old Marilyn Fortier said she also feels lucky that she and her husband made it out safely but for a split second she feared the worst. She said she worried for her husband who needs a walker to gey by.
"Some nice man put him over his back and carried him down the stairs because he can't walk." said Marilyn.
Fire investigators were on the scene Monday morning trying to determine the exact cause of the fire.
Update: 6:05 a.m. - Massive flames burned down part of Rosehaven Manor in Flint, sending residents to look for a place to stay Sunday night.
Reports on Monday now say some of the seniors are being helped out by the American Red Cross to find extended shelter. They were initially taken to the Burton Senior Center as a staging area.
It is a situation no one would imagine happening at the senior living complex on a Sunday afternoon. However, Sarah Baty didn't think twice when it came to saving lives.
Baty said, "There was a couple. I know the man's name. His first name was Harley. He couldn't walk. His wife was scared and they didn't want to leave each other. We got them both out."
Just like Baty, Randal Haggard also stepped up.
"Some of the residents were just panicking so we kicked some of the doors in getting people," responded Haggard.
Randal said, the difficult part was quickly moving them to safety. That is because people wanted to grab their animals, clothes and phones to call loved ones. They told NBC25, it wasn't time for that.
"A lot of people didn't want to come out. They didn't even know what was happening. We had to persuade people, carry people, hold people, bring pets out for them. I got six people out myself so um well with the grace of God I got out six people out," said Baty.
After Randal got out about 20 people from the burning building, he let the firefighters do their job.
One child told NBC25 her family passed out blankets to people that were outside in the cold. Hundreds of people took pictures of a day they will remember for years to come. While others passed out blankets, food and drinks to those in need. A community came together, like heroes, but Baty and Haggard think otherwise.
"I guess I feel good that I helped people get out," Haggard said.
"I'm not a hero. . . if I knew I could help save somebody, I would," Baty said.
Firefighters, police and the Salvation Army were still on the scene around 3:30 p.m..
There are no reports of any deaths as of Sunday evening.
Stay glued to www.minbcnews.com for the latest details.