KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- An explosion and fire at Interfaith Apartments on Kalamazoo’s north side has left three toddlers dead and a lot of questions. Witnesses believe the apartment may have been on fire for a while before it blew out the kitchen windows and Public Safety was called at about 2 p.m. Monday.
Several residents tried to enter the apartment to rescue the 1 year old and 3-year-old fraternal twins, but were beaten back by the smoke and flames. The first PSO’s on the scene rushed in despite the danger and only found bodies. Cheif Jeff Hadley says access to the second floor was gone and parts of the upper story were already beginning to collapse as they were attempting to rescue the toddlers.
M-Live has identified the victims as 3 year old fraternal twins Tevin and Tinya Williams and 1-year-old Tyonna Henderson.
Public Safety Chief Jeff Hadley updated City Commissioners on the fire at last evening’s meeting, saying 'his heart goes out to the family', adding that there are over 400 children who live in the tightly-knit Interfaith Community and that there was a lot of pain as a result of the day’s events.
He called it one of the worst days of his career, having to sit across from the mother of the dead children and inform her of the loss, comparing it to the day the Department lost PSO Eric Zapata.
Lisa Wilcutt with Interfaith Homes says all four units in the building where the fire occurred have been damaged. The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the impacted families, and she says that the management expects to find new housing for the displaced families by the end of the week.
Apparently the children had been left home alone but their mother, was nearby because she has been hospitalized because she was burned trying to rescue them.
One firefighter was treated for injuries he suffered when he fell from a ladder.
The fire marshal and detectives are investigating.