Homeowner and firefighter hurt in East Memphis house fire

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – An East Memphis elderly couple is recovering from burns while coping with a huge loss after they lost their home in a devastating a fire. Both the homeowner and a firefighter were hurt.

The homeowner watched firefighters try to save what they could Sunday morning.

Ferocious smoke and billowing flames devoured his home on Suzanne Circle.

“It really breaks my heart, because we`ve known them all of our lives and they are just a really sweet old couple,” said Josie Maclin. She spotted the smoke pouring into the neighborhood from her house across the street.

“At the first the smoke, it just started coming out of the house and then it started changing colors and once the roof started going the fire became really alive. It was just blazing in the middle of the house,” said Maclin.

Firefighters say the homeowner and his wife were inside at the time. He`s an artist and was working on his latest masterpiece when the fire sparked. He tried to pat it out, but the flames won the battle and just wouldn`t quit. Thankfully, the couple escaped.

“The homeowner received first degree burns to his fingers,” said Deputy Chief Daryl Payton.

But the homeowner isn`t the only person recovering tonight.

“I was worried about the firefighters too going in that house,” said Maclin.

One firefighter tripped and fell inside the burning home, and hurt his elbow.

“We saw them bring the stretcher out there and bring him out of the house. He was right at the front door,” said Maclin.

Josie says she`s thankful tonight for the firefighters, especially at a time where there`s tension in the city over their benefits.

“I respect them a lot. They were really brave going in to that house.” said Maclin.

The house is a total loss. The Fire Battalion had on paramedic call out this morning. But fire officials say the shift was covered and didn’t impact their firefighting abilities.

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