Firefighters in Novi and Northville spent hours Thursday morning battling a massive fire at the Glens of Northville apartments off 8 Mile.
As dozens of residents watched firefighters douse the flames, Shai Bell recalls the moments before she realized a nearby unit was on fire. She was brushing her teeth when she saw smoke coming from the exhaust fan.
She and her husband grabbed the cat and ran out - not even wearing shoes - as fire crews from arrived.
“The witnesses reported that the flames were already through the roof. We believe it started in a northwest apartment but we do not know the cause or the origin at this time,” Novi Public Safety Director David Molloy said.
Even with their aggressive efforts, firefighters couldn't stop the flames from spreading to other units, and even had to pull out of the building at one point when a roof and walls started to cave in.
Bill Rosen, who lives in a downstairs unit, said he was the last one out of the building, and expects the fire destroyed everything he owned.
Crews got a handle of the fire by about noon, and despite the extent of damage, officials say there were no reports of injuries.
Fire officials say all 16 units in the building sustained some fire, smoke or water damage. The cause remains under investigation.