Fire department says food cooking unattended causes Orange Mound house fire, kills one

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Fire Department said one man died in a house fire caused by leaving food cooking in the kitchen Saturday night in Orange Mound.

Firefighters went into the house in the 2600 block of Supreme Ave. around 9:22 p.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they could see flames from the one-story wood frame of the house. The fire was brought under control at 9:34 p.m.

Tristan Savage lives next door to the home and recorded the fire while standing just feet from the inferno. He called 911 initially when someone banged on his door. He tried to do what he could to help because he attended a recent fire academy.

"I made it all the way to week eight, so I had some senses kick in where I went in Superman mode and wanted to save somebody," Savage said. "Can't really do much in this, but I tried to do what I could."

Savage realized it was too hot and dangerous to go inside, so he watched as firefighters brought his neighbor outside. Crews found a man unresponsive in the back bedroom of the house. The man was taken to Regional One Hospital for smoke inhalation and was later pronounced deceased.

Savage said the man was in his 60s and is disabled. Other people in the area said he was a longtime fixture in the neighborhood.

"I tend to help him when I see him doing something," Savage said.

Damage to the home was evident Sunday evening—a hole in the roof, tossed tables and singed belongings scattered in the yard. Officials estimated the structure at about $15,000, and damage to property was worth about $5,000.

Investigators said food cooking in the oven, left unattended was the cause of the fire.

Savage said as cold temperatures persist and people are spending more time in their homes, it's crucial to be vigilant.

"You gotta be careful regardless," Savage said. "You got a piece of bread in the toaster, cooking a full-course meal on the stove, you gotta be careful regardless. It don't take much to start a fire.

WREG will update if we learn more about the victim.

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