MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Justin Greer says he’s looking at life a little differently after he helped several people escape a burning Hickory Hill apartment Sunday.
The Memphis Fire Department said crews arrived at 301 Autumn Ridge Court just before 2 a.m. They found heavy flames coming from the three-story building. Twelve units sustained fire, smoke or water damage.
Greer said seven or eight people, including several children, were trapped on the third floor and stranded on a balcony.
“My mom ran and told me, ‘There’s people, their house is on fire, they need help,'” Greer said. “You could not go to the front door. The front door was engulfed in flames.”
Adrenaline pumping, he climbed up to the balcony.
“The only thing going through my mind was God, and just, help these people. I didn’t see anything else. I didn’t see the fire, I just ran right through it,” he said.
He said he was carrying them on top of the balcony, one foot on and one hand off, passing them off to people on the ground.”
Everyone got out safely.
The fire left a gaping hole left in the complex. Greer said he was glad to help but can’t help but think, “What if?”
“That’s why I can’t sleep now. What if I wasn’t there?” he said. “It’s just hard. Hearing those kids scream like that.”
The 31-year-old says his life is now changed, and he’s not taking it for granted anymore.
“I was just doing what God told me to do. I didn’t feel like it was a duty. I just felt like it was the right thing to do.”
The humble hero had a message for others: If you see someone needing help, don’t pass them by.
“Or if you can’t help them, try to find somebody who can help them. Because that’s what my mom did, she ran back and told me, ‘Hey.’ She knew I was going to do something.”
Two people were injured in the fire. The fire department said it started with children playing with matches on a balcony.