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Roof Collapses as Fire Rages Through Harbours Apartments on Hall Road

The roof of a three-story apartment building on Hall Road has collapsed as firefighters from six communities work to put out a massive blaze at the Harbours Apartments.

UPDATE: The Harbours Apartments will collect clothes, shoes and anything else individuals would like to donate in the complex's clubhouse over the Labor Day weekend. The clubhouse is located at 44565 Bayview Ave, Clinton Township - off Hall Road and Heydenreich.

Thick black smoke could be seen billowing from Hall Road's the Harbours Apartments in Clinton Township Friday morning as firefighters worked to extinguish a massive blaze that caused the roof on part of the apartment complex to collapse.

The fire, which started in apartment complex No. 16 just before 10 a.m. burned for more than an hour as up to three fire trucks continuously sprayed water into the burning building.

Patch.com witnessed part of the roof of the three-story apartment complex collapse as firefighters sprayed thousands of gallons of water into the burning. Fire and emergency personnel from Chesterfield, Mount Clemens, Harrison Township two other departments assisted the Clinton Township fire department at the scene.

Clinton Township officers on scene said they were not aware of anyone needing to be rescued from the building and firefighters were not seen entering the building as they battled the fire.

No injuries have been reported at this time. Witnesses told Patch.com that nobody was home in the apartment that caught fire.

Marty Horton, who lives in the apartment complex that is burning – just two apartments from where the fire started - told Patch.com he was cooking breakfast when he smelled smoke.

“The smell got stronger so I stepped out onto the balcony and looked to the right and there I saw smoke and fire coming out of the dryer vent and then I called 911,” he said.  

Horton said he called the Harbours managers and they were able to knock on all the doors in the complex and make sure everyone got out safely.

No smoke or fire alarms inside the building sounded, according to Horton and neighbor Nicole Mustazza, who was in a unit inside the burning apartment building with her young children, ages 3 and 5.

Nicole's husband Marco Mustazza told Patch.com he believes his family's apartment is a total loss.

The Mustazza's said they are at least hoping to salvage some of their 5-year-old's clothes and school supplies so he can start his first day of school next week.

Dozens of residents stood beyond the fire line and watched as their homes and their neighbors' homes went up in flames. By noon, firefighters had put most of the flames out, although they had not yet entered the building.

Anyone with photos of the fire can upload them to this article.

Stay with Patch.com for updated information on this developing story.

Jenny Whalen August 31, 2012 at 10:11 PM
The Harbours Apartments will collect clothes, shoes or anything else that individuals would like to donate in the clubhouse over the weekend. The clubhouse is located at 44565 Bayview Ave, Clinton Township - off Hall Road and Heydenreich.
Concerned September 01, 2012 at 02:56 AM
If the fire started in the attic, it was above the sprinklers. The sprinklers in those buildings are there for life safety, not property protection.
Neighbor September 01, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Neighbors across the lake from the burning building have video of the beginning of the fire. It was not in "the attic". (3rd floor apartments have cathedral ceilings, I don't know where an attic would be.) It was at the 3rd level balcony level. The neighbors taking the video pointed out how it looked like it started by an outdoor outlet. That could have been just where flames/smoke were seen first. In their videos, you clearly see it start out small from that balcony area and just spread. I live in the older buildings and we have NO sprinklers in our units. That building is one of the newest buildings in this complex, so they probably do have sprinklers. I've heard reports that the smoke detectors never went off. As we watched it burn you could hear the smoke detectors beeping. Maybe if it started closer to outside the detector didnt pick it up right away as they are located at opposite side of unit. Just hoping we can all come together and help these people.
Rachel M September 01, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Yep, I'm in a 3rd floor apartment with a cathedral ceiling as well. I may be mistaken, but I don't believe the smoke detector and fire suppression system (sprinklers) are connected. The sprinklers are to put the fire out, and the smoke detector is there to alert you to get the heck outta there. For anyone that cares, this is some info I found: "Each sprinkler has its own individual heat sensitive element whose only job is to detect a fixed temperature of approximately 68°C/155°F. These heat elements are not affected by smoke, but by heat only. As the temperature reaches a fixed temperature of approximately 68°C/155°F the sprinkler element is activated. The element used in this sprinkler, for example is a glass bulb filled with a fluid consisting of a non-toxic proprietary glycerin solution. As the fluid is heated it expands and shatters the glass bulb enclosure. Sprinklers are extremely reliable and do not activate without heat and only the sprinkler closest to the fire will operate, thus the phrase “One-At-A-Time Activation”."
Jenny Whalen September 04, 2012 at 04:35 PM
I talked with the fire marshal and he says cigarettes are to blame. He also addressed the question of the fire alarm/sprinklers: http://clintontwp.patch.com/articles/fire-marshal-cigarettes-cause-of-harbours-apartment-fire

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