Saturday, October 23, 2021

Apartment caught on fire at the Hub in East Lansing, building evacuated

July 26, 2021
<p>Hub residents, including Sydney Hodges (middle), Riley Modlin (right) and her dog Frankie, find shade as they wait to be allowed back into the building. &quot;I&#x27;m honestly just really confused, they don&#x27;t tell us anything,&quot; Hodges said. Image was taken just outside of the Hub on July 26, 2021.</p>

Hub residents, including Sydney Hodges (middle), Riley Modlin (right) and her dog Frankie, find shade as they wait to be allowed back into the building. "I'm honestly just really confused, they don't tell us anything," Hodges said. Image was taken just outside of the Hub on July 26, 2021.

Photo by Chloe Trofatter | The State News

A fire broke out in an apartment on the seventh floor of The Hub apartment complex around 12:45 p.m., causing the building residents to evacuate for an hour while the East Lansing Fire Department, or ELFD, worked to put it out.

ELFD Captain Mark Koonter said that the fire remained contained to the original apartment and no one was injured while the building was evacuated. 

Firefighters exited the building shortly after 1:30 p.m. and residents began entering the building again at around 1:45 p.m. The Hub management directed people back to their apartment but would not let them on the seventh floor. 

“We were initially called to the seventh floor,” Koonter said. “There was water flow (and) several smoke alarms that were going off. The fire was contained to one apartment. The crews had it knocked down really quick and they're just worried about water damage at this time.”

Koonter said that the fire department used "several" gallons of water to put the fire out and the building is expected to have water damage to the floors below. 

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Residents said that they originally thought it was another fire drill for the building. 

“We've had drills at 3 a.m., but this is the first real one,” communications senior Ben Hockema, who lives on the sixth floor, said.

He said that he remained in bed while the alarm was going off until his friend that lives in the came and told him that the fire was real. 

Other residents did not hear the fire alarm at all and had to rely on friends telling them to evacuate. 

A resident of the 9th floor in the Hub, political science senior Riley Modlin, said the fire alarm was not triggered on her floor and only knew to leave the building after a friend texted her. 

“I'm on the ninth,” Modlin said. “So, they alert the floor above and below and I could faintly hear it, but I was working from home in a meeting so I couldn't really tell but I could faintly hear it.”

Koonter said that the fire department has not determined the cause of the fire and they are beginning an investigation. 

This article has been updated to reflect that Captain Mark Koonter said "several" gallons of water were used, rather than seven.


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