Men hailed as heroes for saving woman and 4-year-old son from apartment fire

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A mother and her 4-year-old boy are recovering from a bad fire and a very close call at their apartment Wednesday afternoon.

On the outside of the building, the charred remains and the busted windows were still visible Thursday.

"One of our guys called on the radio and told us we had a fire," said Corey Warren, maintenance supervisor at New Horizon Apartments. "I hate to think about it."

Warren, assistance maintenance supervisor Ocie Boyd and security guard Bryant Curtis got to the apartment building in just a nick of time, when the apartment was on fire.

The boy, 4, and his mom were still inside.

"We got the baby to Officer Curtis and he carried the baby down," Warren said.

But they both said the mom wouldn't move.

"It was more of a state of shock. She couldn't believe it. She was losing everything. I was trying to explain to her, that's just material things," Boyd said. "We were trying to get her to go, because the flames were getting closer."

Officials said the fire started in the kitchen with some food left on the stove too long.

But soon, the men say it was getting closer to the door where they were with the mom.

"I was right there, so I cold see the flames coming our way," Boyd said.

"The flames were spreading so fast," Warren said.

Still, they couldn't get the mom to run.

She didn't want to walk down, so I just picked her up in my arms and told my co-worker to grab her legs. We just took off," Boyd said.

They ended up carrying her to safety.

By then, the firefighters had arrived and treated both the mom and son for smoke inhalation.

Based on the way the apartment looked after the fire, the men and their tenants knew it was a close call.

"It had to be two to three minutes later and had she not moved, she would've been seriously burned," Boyd said.

"It could have been the other way around," neighbor Jerrica Applewhite said.

The torched belongings left behind reminded them they're not just maintenance managers, they're also fathers.

"We have a bunch of different titles," Boyd said.

Tonight, they're heroes.

WREG spoke with the husband who lived with his wife and son in the apartment. He said they were still shaken up but recovering.

The Red Cross is covering their stay in a hotel until the apartment complex can get them in a new unit.