Flames climbed out of a three-story student apartment complex on South Campus early this morning as the Ann Arbor Fire Department worked to put out the blaze.

Angela Cesere
Firefighters extinguish a fire in a three-story student apartment complex located on 1611 South State St.

Firefighters responded to a 12:52 a.m. call reporting the fire at the 12-unit building and arrived at the scene within minutes. They were still working to control and distinguish the fire as of 1:42 a.m.

The building is located at 1611 South State St., on the corner of South State Street and Stimson Street, across from the University’s golf course. The complex, owned by Oppenheimer Properties, houses one- and two-bedroom units.

All residents of the burning apartment were able to escape. Fire inspectors said the cause of the fire was unknown early this morning as officers continued to monitor the scene.

Ann Arbor Police Department Sgt. Tom Hickey said the fire started on the second floor and woke the resident of that apartment and his visiting brother.

“We don’t know anything,” Hickey said.

Other residents on the third floor above the burning apartment broke a window and jumped out. Officers were able to catch a woman, but a man who tried to lower himself broke a leg in the fall and was taken away via ambulance.

“People jumped out of the third floor. There was no fire escape,” said resident Sylvie Khajuria, a graduate student in the School of Information.

Khajuria and her roommate, who live in the rear of the building, left their apartment after another tenant screamed to them.

“Some guy ran down the stairs yelling, ‘This building is on fire,'” she said, holding her roommate’s cat across from the burning building. “We live in the back. All we heard was breaking glass.”

“We were like, grab your coat and the cat,” she said.

Khajuria said neither she nor her roommate heard a fire alarm while she was watching television in her room.

“Nothing went off. I wasn’t going to get out of bed,” she said.

Some residents carried armfuls of belongings across the street, including crates of textbooks.

While officers worked at the scene, tenants were escorted to a University bus, parked in the Salvation Army parking lot across the street. Department of Public Safety Sgt. Tim Shannon spoke with residents aboard the bus.

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