Grandfather killed in overnight apartment fire in South Memphis

MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  A Memphis man was killed in a massive apartment fire in South Memphis early Wednesday morning.

Memphis Firefighters were called to the Whispering Pines Apartments on Dwight Road around 1:15 a.m.

It took firefighters about an hour to bring the fire under control. They said  the apartment building was so unstable they had to use ladder trucks to fight it from above.

Sixteen apartments were destroyed in the fire and a man's body was recovered from an apartment on the second floor.

Robert Doyle just moved out of the complex last week and said his grandfather was killed in the fire.

"I got a phone call that my granddaddy burned up in it in the building. I don't know what happened or how it happened," said Doyle.

The victim's name has not been released.

"We initially attempted to enter the structure, but because of the instability of the structure, we made a decision to go defensive," said Lt. Wayne Cooke with the Memphis Fire Department. "We raised two aerial trucks and we were able to bring this fire under control at 2:08 a.m."

At 5 a.m. smoke was still visible from the units and firefighters were still working to make sure the fire was completely out.

One fireman was taken to the hospital for a muscle spasm.

Fire investigators are still trying to figure out what sparked the fire.

 

One woman who escaped the fire said there were no smoke detectors, but the fire department has not confirmed that yet.

"I feel so lucky because I was right in the midst of it. I just got out," said Kalecia Irby.

The Red Cross is now assisting families displaced by the fire.