UPDATE: Fire breaks out in Benton Harbor senior high-rise

By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter 16 Staff Email

A suspect is wanted in connection with a Benton Harbor apartment fire Thursday night. Police and investigators believe that the fire that broke out in a high-rise complex for senior citizens was likely the result of arson.

Dozens of elderly residents were evacuated from their apartments just after 10 p.m. at the River Terrace Apartments, located in the 300 block of River Terrace Drive, just off 8th Street. Crews from both the Benton Harbor Department of Public Safety and the St. Joseph Fire Department arrived to find flames pouring out of a sixth floor unit.

Firefighters described it as a “powerful blaze,” saying that once they were inside the building it was difficult to see because of the smoke.

The Red Cross has stepped in and offered assistance to residents of the surrounding units who were left homeless after the fire caused water and fire damage.

A preliminary investigation revealed that the fire was possibly caused by arson, officials say they have identified a suspect but no arrests have been made.

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