Residents displaced following fire at Hancock apartment building

Published: Apr. 14, 2017 at 10:22 PM EDT
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A frightening morning followed by a long and tiring day for residents living in a Hancock apartment building that caught fire, early Friday morning.

Just before 3:30 a.m., a fire broke out in an apartment building located on the 1500 block of Anthony Street.

"It really hasn't set in yet, like it still hasn't," apartment resident Alyssa Knoester said.

Residents were rushed outside by emergency responders and fire crews battled the blaze for several hours.

"I got woken up by police pounding on my door," Knoester said. "I ran, opened the door and he was like, 'fire, you've got to get out.' So I grabbed my phone because -- needed that and ran out. No shoes, wearing shorts and a t-shirt and had nothing."

The fire displaced everyone living in the building.

According to Michigan Tech, seven students and one research faculty member reside there.

Tech helped them find housing for the remainder of the semester and took them shopping since they had nothing except what they could grab when they were evacuated.

"Obviously Michigan Tech is just thankful that these students are okay and they will be able to continue the semester and that they were all able to get out of the structure quickly," said John Lehman, the associate vice president for Enrollment and University Relations at Michigan Tech.

According to Knoester, the fire marshal cleared residents living on all floors to get their things starting at 4 p.m.

Knoester and her boyfriend Wesley Gratz, along with his parents who drove from Illinois immediately after hearing about the fire Friday morning, salvage what they could from her basement apartment.

"We got no smoke and all the water," Knoester said. "It was about a foot and a half of water last night when the fireman went to go get our car keys."

Those who were at the fire Friday morning said everyone escaped without injury.

A Michigan State Police Fire Investigator is assisting the city of Hancock in determining the cause and origin of the fire. At this time the incident remains under investigation.