Seven People Escape Burning House

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(Memphis)  Fire investigators say a faulty surge protector is to blame for an early morning fire that left seven people homeless near the University of Memphis.

The fire broke out around 12:15 a.m. Thursday in the 3500 block of Stuart Rd. near South Highland Ave.

Firefighters say flames were shooting out of the two-story house when they arrived.

For a time, firefighters thought there were people trapped inside.

“When we were originally dispatched, it was reported that there were two parties possibly trapped inside,” said Lt. Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Dept.

As a precaution, the fire department conducted a thorough search of the building, but did not find anyone.

All seven people who lived at the home were able to escape unharmed.

A neighbor had to go in and rescue a man still sleeping upstairs.

“I didn’t know he was up there until someone said Jessie is up there asleep. The man across the street went over there and woke him up. He got a ladder and climbed up the ladder,” said Carl Liddell

Lt. Cooke says it took about 20 minutes for firefighter to put out the fire.

There were no firefighter injuries.