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UPDATE: Residents Escape Massive Fire at Harbours Apartments Uninjured

Dozens of units in a three-story apartment building on Hall Road have been damaged or destroyed following a massive Friday morning blaze at The Harbours Apartments.

At least four families lost their homes Friday when a off Hall Road in Clinton Township.

Five fire departments were called in to help the Clinton Township crews battle the blaze, which is believed to have started in the attic of the building shortly before 10 a.m. Friday. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.

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Marty Horton, who lives in Building 16 – 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.

Brandon Knoll and his girlfriend just signed a lease at The Harbours but haven't moved in yet.

"I heard about it and came to check it out," Knoll said. "I hope everything and everybody – animals, everything – is OK. I worry about what would have happened if my animal were trapped in there ..."

Knoll broke off his comment as he and others watched a portion of the roof collapse.

Under the pounding pressure of thousands of gallons of water, the charred remains of the building's roof collapsed.

Although no injuries have been reported at this time, it's thought that around 15 apartments suffered significant fire, smoke and water damage.

Horton and neighbor Nicole Mustazza, who was in the second-floor unit beneath the burning apartment with her young children, ages 3 and 5, say none of the building's smoke or fire alarms sounded prior to the arrival of fire crews.

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

The Mustazzas 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.

By noon Friday, firefighters had extinguished most of the blaze. Several firefighters were treated for dehydration at the scene.

While some residents were able to move into vacant units in the complex, others have gone to stay with relatives.

Donations collected for families who lost belongings in blaze

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, just off Hall Road and Heydenreich.

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

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

Dagmar VanSlyke September 01, 2012 at 06:34 PM
sadly enough, one of my co-workers and her husband, also a co-worker of mine were one of the families affected. From what I was told, she did hurt her leg ... as to the cloths donations, I know my friend is a very Big and Tall Man, so if anyone has cloths for that build of man, it would be great... :) And thank you to those trying to help them out.
Marina Cracchiolo September 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Hi Audra, I am sure someone in the apartment could use it. Just drop it off at the clubhouse. Thanks!
Marina Cracchiolo September 02, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Thanks for the tip Dagmar. That's good to know. I am sorry your friend injured her leg....
Marina Cracchiolo September 02, 2012 at 04:55 PM
Thank you for following Patch, Shannon!
Jenny Whalen September 04, 2012 at 04:34 PM
Turns out the cause of the fire was cigarettes left in an ashtray on the balcony of one of the third-floor units: http://clintontwp.patch.com/articles/fire-marshal-cigarettes-cause-of-harbours-apartment-fire

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