UPDATE: 35 homeless after massive apartment fire

Buchanan, Mich. Dozens of Buchanan residents lost everything in a massive apartment fire Wednesday night.

It started around 6:45 p.m. at the Parkside Terrace Apartments in the 800 block of North Red Bud Trail. There are 16 units inside the affected structure, which is one of 12 buildings that the complex operates across a three-block area.

The blaze was sparked by a grease fire.

Firefighters say the resident reacted properly by throwing flour onto the fire, but grease splattered and flames spread to the ceiling.

The blaze continued to grow quickly, destroying 16 apartments and leaving 35 people without a home.

Both the Buchanan and Niles Fire Departments are using their aerial trucks to fight hot spots. Firefighters from Bertrand Township and Buchanan Township were also called in to help.

The roof of the apartment building collapsed, making it difficult for firefighters to reach certain areas. They're continuing to fight any flames or hot spots from the outside of the building.

Remarkably, no residents were injured in the fire. One firefighter was transported to the hospital to be checked out, but his co-workers say he's going to be OK.

Because of the extreme heat, firefighters took breaks often to hydrate and refuel.

Not long after the fire, several local charities got to work helping residents.

Red Bud Ministries, which is just across the street, opened its doors to residents for help. They're taking donations for the families affected.

Ram Love will also be accepting donations of clothing and toiletries from 9 a.m. to noon Thursday.

But, the Berrien County Chapter of the American Red Cross says the best way to help is to donate cash. That way, volunteers can purchase the items families really need.

The Red Cross is providing food, clothing and possibly shelter to residents in need. They say most families have somewhere to stay temporarily, but they were still trying to place 8 in local hotels for the night.

If needed, they'll setup a shelter Thursday.

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