Teens Seen Running Before Two Alarm Fire Destroys Building

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(Memphis) Fire investigators are trying to figure out what caused a massive building fire Saturday afternoon in South Memphis.

Four firefighters were briefly trapped after an explosion sent a wall and roof collapsing on top of them.

All four are expected to be OK according to the Memphis Fire Department.

The fire happened at 2:45 p.m. at the location of the former American Drum and Pallet Company on Walnut Street.

A man who lives right across the street from abandoned the building told us he saw three boys running from the building right as it went up in flames.

“I was standing over there and I heard a big boom and I seen them taking them out on a stretcher,” said Donald Mitchell, who lives across the street.

“The firefighters?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.

“Uh huh,” said Mitchell.

“We have fire crews on the scene to respond and they were able to rescue those firefighters in record time,” said  Lt. Wayne Cooke, spokesperson for the Memphis Fire Department.

Lt. Cooke said none of the firefighters were burned and all are going to be OK.

The smoke drew people to South Memphis from all over.

“It’s pretty horrifying,” said Michael Pahls, who stopped to check out the flames.

“I just hope nobody is hurt,” said Taylor Manning, who checked out the flames peeking through a fence on Ioka.

Mitchell and his brothers watched as the fire burn dangerously close to their home that sits directly across from the building.

“It’s scary,” said Mitchell. “Very scary.”

Mitchell said his father was in the backyard when the fire started and claims to have seen three boys running from the building.

“Three kids run out of the back,” said Mitchell.

“We do have fire investigators on the scene to determine the cause and origin of the fire,” said Lt. Cooke.

Lt. Cooke says a total of 94 firefighters and rescue workers responded to this fire.

He told us it is because they had so many crews there that those firefighters were able to be pulled to safely so quickly.



    • Artie

      Black teens torching buildings. Another day in Little Detroit. I wonder why corporations are afraid to open a business in Memphis? It cannot be the crime……the mayor said Crime is down. Come visit your Memphis downtown yall and see the red flames light the sky. And just wait until the kids get out of school, that’s when the real fun starts.

  • gary henderson

    Well,well, looks like they killing and burning Memphis to the ground ,you would have to be a complete idiot to live there with your family.

    • Artie

      You cannot fix stupid. Stupid- living in an apt or bad neighborhood with your children in Memphis. You do have a choice to move to another place. But instead you sit on your porch and complain about all the shootings and stabbings on your street and YOU blame the police for not doing their job. LOL

  • SayNoMore

    Aerial photos show snippets of a Memphis, city beautiful, in spite of some of the acne that any real beauty has!! It is a shame that this fire may have been started purposefully, but what a blessing no one was injured.

  • John

    Prayers to the four firefighters injured. This is an example of what public safety in Memphis does everyday. One of the first in pieces of equipment to help put the fire out was taken out of service today.

  • ChrisWilliamsJrisTheLoadthatshould'vebeenswallowed

    I hope the ones that got hurt recovers and they catch those punks. Hope the other firemen will be ok.

  • George Brown

    Hi. It’s in the story. Four with minor injuries according to the MFD. Of course we report when they are injured.

  • ChrisWilliamsisaBigDumDum

    George Brown is getting on here to make wreg look good. Y’all need to step it up and tell all the details. We have to go over to WMC to get the whole story.

  • jcathyc

    This is crazy! Why are you people always making silly remarks. Try to find ways to improve ways of life for these people. They need something to do. Jobs entertainment peace. Our Memphis leadership isn’t interested in helping just harming. Raising taxes so businesses won’t be interested
    People loosing their homes Because Memphis city council only knows how to raise taxes and providing jobs and opportunity to people absolutely a no no in this city

  • Bill

    You know, this is really not that bad. Consider the amount of absentee property owners there are in this city that owe millions in taxes and won’t pay. Torch the buildings, let the insurance companies pay and blight never looked better.

  • Bill

    When Firemen aren’t fighting fires should they be paid thier full hourly wages or salaries? If you’ve got that much down time you should be paid less and more when you’re actually working.

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