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'It was unreal': Residents of Green Ridge Apartments speak out on fire

The Jan. 9 fire displaced around 60 people. One person 13 ON YOUR SIDE spoke to called 911 after seeing her balcony on fire.

WALKER, Mich. — Michelle Jackson has lived at Green Ridge Apartments for around five years. On Jan. 9, she witnessed tragedy.

"It was unreal, just like, you never think of tomorrow, your house is going to burn down," said Jackson. "When everything is gone, what do you grab? I grabbed my cat and nothing else."

That fire displaced around 60 people at Green Ridge Apartments.

Now looking to move forward, her and her boyfriend are practically having to start over from scratch.

"We didn't even have insurance. We never though about like, okay, we live on the third floor, we didn't think about flooding..." said Jackson.

As the fire began, Michelle says she was sleeping. She credits her life being saved by the person who called the fire in to 911.

The call to dispatch, however, was placed by Star Gazdag.

"I immediately called the police because I didn't know what to do of course. The whole situation of me getting in, calling the police, to getting my animals out and getting us out took less than two minutes," said Star.

Star says she was on a zoom meeting for work when she noticed that her balcony was on fire.

That's when she called 911.

"I gave the address, I gave a small description of what I was seeing and then I immediately just went into getting my shoes on and getting my dog and cat out," said Gazdag.

Among the things Star and her husband Matthew lost: Honeymoon photo's and the wedding dress Star made herself.

"The flower crown that I had made. Quite a few valuables that I had been given from my late Grandmother that also can't be replaced, which were a huge thing to be given."

Michelle and her boyfriend also lost some things of sentimental value.

"My boyfriends moms obituary is in there," said Michelle. "We don't have pictures of her. I don't know anything that survived."

Michelle didn't know Star and Matthew before the fire.

Through heartbreak, however, there was a friendship made.

"If you had not of called," Michelle said looking at Star. "I would not be here. I literally owe you my life."

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