Man suffers minor burns as historic Bay View building goes up in flames

BAY VIEW (WITI) -- Officials say a man suffered minor burns after a historic Bay View building went up in flames on Saturday night, May 11th.

It happened just before 11:00 p.m. near Burrell and Clifford Street.

The fireball was captured on cell phone video as fire crews were called to the scene. Crews discovered a former corner grocery store on fire.

Fire officials say the upstairs of the building that caught fire was completely destroyed, and a man who lived in an apartment upstairs was taken to the hospital with minor burns.

Downstairs, where bands rented out space for practice may have lost thousands in equipment.

"I really thank the fire department, because they saved our house, getting there so fast," neighbor Mike Osowski said.

Osowski lives right next door. He says he is thankful no one was seriously injured or killed. However, Osowski says he is not surprised something bad happened to the building.

"He's a loud neighbor that everyone knows," Osowski said.

"The neighborhood has been putting up with loud music or lights -- crazy lights," neighbor Sandy Palokonis said.

Neighbors say the man living in the building suffers from mental health issues. They say police have made frequent visits -- and say over the past few months, the man's behavior has become more unpredictable.

"We've all tried to work with social services continually, and he just hasn't gotten the help to stay on his meds," Palokonis said.

It is unclear what caused this blaze, and fire crews continue to investigate, as neighbors wonder whether more could have been done to help their neighbor.

"I've never seen a fire like that in my life," Osowski said.