(CBS DETROIT) – A tight-knit community in Royal Oak Township is in shock following a house fire that displaced five families.


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“I don’t ever want to imagine that,” said Mr. Richard, a neighbor in the community. “Coming home to see something like this or somebody having to call me and tell me my house is on fire.”


An early morning blaze erupted and quickly spread from one home to the next.


“Units arrived on scene around 4:00 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 1, at Oakdale Co-Op in Royal Oak Township and fire officials say although one unit is a total loss, they’re glad to report that everyone affected walked away with their lives,” reported CW50’s Cryss Walker.


Ferndale Fire Chief Teresa Robinson says the fire started in the kitchen of a townhome on the 21-thousand block of hart place street.


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“It is a row of nine townhouses,” said Teresa Robinson, Ferndale Fire Chief. “The fire did extend up into the attic and stretched across a total of five townhouses. We were able to make a stop and attack the fire aggressively.”


Robinson continued and said, “We believe in this case smoke detectors were working and alerted. The families so they could get out alive.”


Two people were transported to the hospital for non-life-threatening injuries, and five families were displaced.


Teams from Southfield, Hazel Park, and Madison Heights also joined the Ferndale Fire Department to extinguish the flames.


“ ‘Is everybody out ok? ‘is there anybody we have to rescue?’ that’s always our number one priority,” said Robinson. “After that is stabilizing the incident and conserving property. So that’s how we come into it. And staying on edge helps keep us safe and allows us to have really good situational awareness so we can pay attention to what’s going on and make really good decisions.”

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