Metro Detroit bowling coach rushes to rescue families as apartment building goes up in flames

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Posted at 9:15 PM, Feb 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-10 22:33:55-05

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. (WXYZ) — A local bowling coach is being hailed a hero for quickly jumping into action when he saw a Lincoln Park apartment building on fire on his way to practice.

Coach Jason Caperton was headed to practice taking his normal route when he saw a fire at an apartment complex on the 1700 block of Goddard and quickly jumped out of his car.

“Seen a lady pretty frantic outside. Seen the smoke billowing outside the building,” Caperton said.

The coach says when he came across the fire Monday afternoon, some people were already outside.

“(I) ran over. A few people were already coming out," he said. "I opened the door. You could see it was pretty heavy already, pretty dark smoke."

Alyssa Mays and her son were on the second floor when she smelled smoke. Her husband was at a nearby store.

“I heard a bunch of stomping in the hallways and then the alarms started going off and something told me to check and it was all full of smoke (and) pitch black, (I) can’t see nothing,” Mays said.

“I got the phone call that the apartment was in flames and hurried back,” said Mays' husband Patrick Leos.

Mays is staying at a local hotel. The Red Cross and Salvation Army have assisted her and the others who’ve been displaced from the fire. She says she remembers seeing coach Caperton run into the apartment and try to battle the flames.

“He ran into the apartment grabbed the fire extinguisher trying to put the fire out," she said. "Then a Door Dash driver pulled in because he saw all the flames and he let everyone sit in his car and warm up."

Caperton says the response that he’s received is a little overwhelming and is hoping the community will come together to help these families out.

“As of right now every family that was in there is pretty much without everything they had,” he said.

Here are a few GoFundMe accounts that have been set up to help some of the families:

Help Audrey and Erik Smith

Help for the Leos Family After Apartment Fire