MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Fire Department responded to a call of a fire at an apartment building Friday morning.
According to MFD, the fire happened on the 300 block of North Cleveland Street around 8:30 a.m. Firefighters were able to extinguish the fire about 30 minutes later.
Daniel Arnold and other residents at the Evergreen Historic District, which is next to the vacant apartment building said they woke up to flaming views Christmas Eve morning.
“I was indoors in my kitchen with my windows closed and everything and I could feel the heat,” Arnold said.
Nancy Harris said she and other residents were very fortunate that the wind was blowing in the opposite direction of their apartment building. The building is just down the street from Crosstown Concourse, and neighbors say they want to see it and other abandoned properties cleaned up.
“There have been squatters in that building for years,” Harris said. “We are honestly surprised it hasn’t happened now.”
MFD reported that the building did not have a working smoke alarm. Lt. Wayne Cooke said this is a normal time of year when vacant buildings are caught on fire.
“During this time of year, our fires tend to increase not only in vacant buildings, but in residential fires altogether and it’s largely due to indoor activity,” Lt. Cooke said.
The fire was determined to be accidental from a grill that was left unattended on the second floor balcony. The estimated damage is more than $400,000.
No one was injured.
The fire department said the structure is unsafe and will be torn down.