Resident: Neighbors forced to jump from window to escape Hickory Hill apartment fire


MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Several people are lucky to be alive after reportedly becoming trapped inside a Hickory Hill apartment that had caught on fire.

It happened at the Emerald Park Apartment complex at 6001 Summer Sun Square, which is just off of Knight Arnold.

Authorities said the initial call for help came in just after midnight and when their crews arrived on the scene heavy smoke was visible from the two-story building.

WREG’s Mellisa Moon spoke with resident James Smith who said he heard people screaming for help. He looked out his window and saw that another building was on fire. Four people were trapped on the second floor of the burning building.

“They were all hollering, ‘We can’t breathe. We can’t get out, we are trapped.’ We were like, ‘Okay, you are going to have to jump.'”

Quickly, he and his husband pulled a mattress underneath the window and told them to jump to safety.

“They busted the glass out. All four jumped out.”

They got out just in time as there was some sort of explosion shortly after they made their escape.

One woman was transported to the hospital for smoke inhalation and cuts to her hands. A second woman was also treated for smoke inhalation and released on the scene.

Smith said he doesn’t consider himself a hero. He’s just glad he was at the right place at the right time.

“There was real fear. If no one was had ever seen it before. You are scared to jump, you are scared to jump. You know…what do you do?”

Authorities said the fire started after someone left food unattended on the stove in the kitchen.

The fire originated in one of the four units in the building. One home sustained fire damage and three others had smoke and water damage.

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