NOVI, MI (WXYZ) — Early Monday morning, fire crews from multiple units responded to a fire at a mobile home park in Novi.
According to Novi Fire Chief Jeff Johnson, the fire started at around 2:50 a.m. at the Country Cousins Mobile Home Park on Branton Street just off Haggerty Road.
The fire began in a shed but quickly spread to three homes in the area. Chief Johnson says everyone, including pets, was able to get out safely. Initially, firefighters believed all 3 homes affected would be a total loss but later in the afternoon Chief Johnson clarified that 2 homes were deemed a total loss, and another suffered exterior damage.
"We never like to see people during the holidays displaced from their homes and so I feel for these families and I hope that they still can somehow get through this," Chief Johnson said at the scene.
Johnson said the affected families have been connected with the Salvation Army in case they don't have a place to stay. The fire department also says they have a partnership with hotels in the area so that the displayed families have a warm and safe place to stay.
Jospeh Oleksak lives behind the shed that initially caught fire. He was woken up when his dog Ozzy began barking.
"I kept hearing the dog barking, I kind of woke up from it and it sounded like fireworks. I assume it was aerosol cans going off,” Oleksak said. "When I opened my bedroom door, I saw an ominous glow. I ran outside and I saw the shed behind my house on fire.”
Oleksak says the shed belonging to his neighbor was up in flames just feet away from his son’s bedroom. Thanks to his dog barking, Oleksak quickly got his son to safety then alerted his neighbors and called 911.
“In the matter it took me to call 911 and the fire department to show up their whole house was engulfed," Oleksak said. "They got the flames out on that house then the house directly behind me went up.”
Neighbors watched as the flames spread and firefighters got to work trying to contain it from spreading any further.
“I was just petrified because I wanted to make sure everyone was safe,” said neighbor Janice Fracala.
The Novi Fire Department says everyone, including pets, got out safely before the homes were engulfed. One home was damaged but two homes are deemed a total loss.
“I feel bad for the people, I was very thankful it wasn't our house too," said neighbor Damien Distefano. "It's the holidays, no one wants to have their house on fire.”
Oleksak credits firefighters for their quick response to keep the fire from spreading. He also credits his dog Ozzy, whose barking led to one of the first 911 calls for help.
“I'm glad everyone made it out alright and I'm glad that ozzy got to save the day,” Oleksak said.