Residents of Aspen Park Apartments in Otsego were dealt a devastating blow when eight units caught fire on Friday, March 4 2022. Dispatch first received a 911 call about the building fire around 11:30 a.m. and crews were able to extinguish it within an hour thanks to back up from the Allegan, Plainwell, Alamo, Martin, and Gun Plains fire departments.

Although half of the building's units were heavily damaged, thankfully there were no reported injuries. The cause of the fire is still under investigation however, the families who reside in those eight units have reportedly been unable to access their homes until the insurance inspection and investigation have concluded.

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In the meantime, residents who are left scrambling to find alternative housing are also going up against a competitive housing market and face apartment wait list times as long as six months. Can you imagine how awful it must feel to not only be displaced from your home and need to find immediate shelter, but to also not have any idea when you'll be allowed back into your own home to asses the damage to your property? That is truly heartbreaking.

In true Michigander fashion, many locals in our community are asking how they can lend a helping hand to those affected by Friday's fire. Several local Facebook groups have come together to pool resources for the residents of Aspen Park which includes the donation of clothing for men, women, and children, as well as furniture and food donations.

The Red Cross has already stepped in to help residents and the First Baptist Church in Otsego is taking furniture donations. Those who wish to donate are asked to contact Dawn at (269) 694-4160. Food items should be taken to Christian Neighbors at 282 12th St in Plainwell.

Members of the surrounding communities are also sharing their donations which are available for any of the residents affect by the fire. Check out the available items and where to pick them up here.

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