Fire Forces Senior Citizens Out Of High-Rise Building

(Memphis) Four people were injured, one critically, at a fire at Linden Camilla Towers Monday.

Two people were rescued from the floor where the fire was, and others were treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire alarms sounded at 4:30 Monday afternoon at the high-rise, which is filled with elderly residents.

Seventy-six-year-old Robert King was in his sixth floor apartment when the alarm went off.

“I said, ‘It has been on too long, something’s wrong,'” he said.

So he got out.

As King walked down six flights of stairs, escaping heavy smoke, fire crews were running up the stairs.

“Firemen were coming upstairs with different things,” he said.

They hurried to the ninth floor where an apartment burning.

Investigators haven’t confirmed how the fire started, but Ronald Boyd says he knows the woman who lived there.

“They said one of the heaters had exploded and they saw nothing but black smoke,” Boyd said.

The 70-year-old woman was rushed to the Regional Medical Center’s burn unit in critical condition.

Three others were taken out of the high-rise on stretchers and treated for smoke inhalation.

“We did have to evacuate the ninth floor, the six, seventh, eighth, and tenth floors were sheltered in place, so they were not in imminent danger,” Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department said.

Close to 80 emergency responders flooded the area.

“They just came here and they did all they could do and they didn’t stop coming,” resident Lily Cole said.

The fire was put out in minutes.

Cole is so grateful she wants to give part of her social security check to the fire crews who saved her building and her friends inside.

“Thank God he blessed us today,” she said. “The fire department blessed us.”

There was a lot of flooding inside the building, so many residents could not get back to their apartments Monday night. The Red Cross was called in to help.

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