Shelby County resident narrowly avoids explosion that burned house

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A southeast Shelby County resident is lucky to be alive after narrowly avoiding an early-morning explosion that left a home gutted.

Five children and their parents were inside that home when flames erupted Thursday morning in the 4200 block of Old Forest Road just east of Memphis.

Memphis firefighter Bryant Boone ran across the street with another neighbor and grabbed a garden hose to stop a fire in the garage from spreading.

But he says the hoses were no match for the fast-moving flames.

“We were just using normal water hoses, and, you know, you don’t have much pressure. We tried until they got here,” Boone said.

Kimberly Shaw says she and her husband and five kids made it out safely after a car that had just been started in their garage exploded.

“He was awesome. We thank God for him, because he came and just instantly went into help mode,” Shaw said.

Three Shelby County Sheriffs Deputies also tried to fight the flames with a fire extinguisher. One suffered smoke inhalation while trying to rescue the family pet.

“They tried to get the dog out, but the fire and the smoke was just too thick for them,” Shaw said.

She says, however, her husband was able to go through the back door and get the dog.

Fire officials don’t know what caused the vehicle to explode, but say the fire quickly spread through hidden spaces in the attic – making it difficult to put out.

They say the family is fortunate no one was in the garage or in that vehicle when it blew up.

Boone just wishes he could have done more.

“Everyone got out safe. That’s the main thing,” Boone said.

“We are safe. We are all safe,” Shaw said.