MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. (WXYZ) — At least nine families are left homeless before the holidays after a fire tore through their apartment building in Mount Clemens.
The fire happened at Hubbard Oak Apartments early Thursday morning. Families are now trying to rebuild after the devasting loss.
Alex Lyle had been inside with her husband and their 5-year-old daughter and 9-month-old son. It was their baby's cries that woke them up just after 5:30 a.m. Thursday.
“I got up, I smelled smoke, I went in the back room where her dad was at, and he was laying in the bed. I turned the light on and the whole room was smokey,” Lyle said.
Unfortunately, the fire destroyed everything the family owned. Others also lost everything.
Disaster services for the American Red Cross are helping families affected with immediate, temporary needs for food and shelter.
“We just left out the house. My son only had a shirt on his back. I didn’t have any clothes on, barely. My daughter only had a chance to grab her coat. And that’s all we have. Everything else is gone,” Lyle said.
Some people who lost everything did not have renters insurance. Lyle and her family were just signed up for it.
“We just had got the renters insurance the day before the fire happened, which was so ironic,” she said. “So right now, we’re trying to figure out what they’re going to be able to help us with.”
Her husband just started an auto insurance policy with State Farm and fortunately for them, it came with six months free renters insurance.
“I just keep thinking about what would have happened if he would have never paid for the insurance because it wasn’t on my mind at all. So, God put it into his brain to provide for our family in that way.”
Fire officials say the cause was electrical and that it started on the side of the building at the meter. An investigator with the Macomb County Sheriff's Office is trying to determine what actually caused the electrical fire.
A spokesperson for DTE Energy says when they were notified of the fire, they were able to immediately cut power to the meter box remotely. They're also conducting their own investigation.
Lyle is just glad her baby boy woke them up with his cries.
“Babies sense things that we cannot, so I feel like he was trying to tell us something was wrong,” Lyle said.