Firefighters battle flames at 3 neighboring Highland Park homes - KMSP-TV

Firefighters battle flames at 3 neighboring Highland Park homes

Posted: Updated:
SkyFox image of the triple house fire in Highland Park  (Credit: Fox 2 News) SkyFox image of the triple house fire in Highland Park (Credit: Fox 2 News)
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WJBK) -

Family of Bill Thomas were holding on to hope.  The house where he lived in Highland Park burst into flames on Thursday.  Neighbors said it sounded like an explosion.  The flames so intense jumped to two other houses.

"I sent crews on both sides and tried to control it from there," said Chief Derek Hillman from the Highland Park Fire Department.

Two of the three houses were occupied, but they were all completely destroyed.  No one other than Thomas was unaccounted for.

Family said an oxygen tank helped Thomas to breathe.  They kept calling his cell phone, but he never answered.

Claudia Brantley said she hoped the Lord saved him.  "I hope he took him for a walk somewhere," she remarked.  "I'm not going to believe my brother-in-law [is] in there."

"You could feel the heat almost at the store.  So I came over here trying to see if everybody was okay and everything was cool," said Chris Hatcher.   "All I found was a family sitting over here, and they were out here shivering, cold and everything."

Hatcher just hit the lottery at the liquor store, but after meeting Thomas' family he knew what to do with his winnings.  He bought hot coffee for everyone and warm gloves for Thomas' niece.

"If we don't look out for each other, who else is going to look out for us?" he said.

After hours of waiting, news broke that human remains were found inside the house, not the news Thomas' family wanted, but the closure they needed.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Michigan girl mauled by racoon receives wave of support

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:52 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:52:22 GMT
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
    She told us all she wanted was to wear earrings -- and now she's got a lot of options. We'll show you how Charlotte is healing after surgery to replace her ear... and how you've made a difference. Her story includes a tragic accident, but also a tremendous outpouring of support. The 12-year-old girl from western Michigan who was attacked by a raccoon, shows us how the generosity of others is helping her heal. "This is all the jewelry people sent me," she said. Dozens of pairs of earrings and ...
  • Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Funeral arrangements set for murdered Armada teen

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 4:36 PM EDT2014-07-29 20:36:17 GMT
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
    Funeral arrangements have been set for the 14-year-old murdered in Armada last week. Meanwhile, investigators are still looking for a suspect.
  • Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Fire from lightning strike devastates Roseville church

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:10 PM EDT2014-07-29 16:10:35 GMT
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
    A raging fire happens in Roseville and of all places to be struck by lightning - the steeple of the New Life Church of God in Christ.Pastor Darrell Moore and his family are devastated."I got here and I found out I really didn't have a church anymore, " he said. Moore was attending a Sunday evening service at another church, when a member of new life called him repeatedly. When he finally answered, it was bad news."The fire department was here, there was water everywhere," said Mary Moore, mot...
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices