Three people killed in Saturday morning apartment fire - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Three people killed in Saturday morning apartment fire

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Three people, including two children, were killed early Saturday morning in an apartment fire in the 2800 block of Beverly Hills Road.

According to Memphis Fire Department spokesperson Wayne Cooke, the fire broke out in a two-story building in the Beverly Hill apartments around 3:15 a.m.  When firefighters arrived, heavy flames and thick smoke were rising from the structure.

Sheryl Faison stood dazed as she took in the scene at her apartments.

"It was crazy," said Faison.  "Lord have mercy, it was so crazy."

Faison awoke to a frenzy of people running and firefighters screaming to her neighbor in a window.

"Drop the baby, throw the baby, jump out the window," said Faison.  "That's all they kept telling her."

She said the mother was frozen in fear as she clutched her 18-month-old daughter and two-month-old son.

"You could see the fear, she just stopped," said Faison.  "She couldn't do it.  She just couldn't do it.  We all were just screaming."

Faison said the sounds of the fire will haunt her for life.

"Have you ever known what it feels like to hear a baby scream and you can't help this baby and it's not your baby?" said Faison.  "I heard this baby scream.  They were screaming for help."

It took several dozen firefighters nearly 30 minutes to bring the fire under control.  When the building was searched, firefighters found the bodies of a 29-year-old woman, and 18-month old girl, and a 2-month-old boy.

According to police, the fire apparently broke out as a 32-year-old man inside the apartment was cooking in the kitchen.  As he left the kitchen to take food to another resident of the apartment complex, there was an apparent explosion.  The man was able to rescue two other children from the apartment, ages 3 and 4, but was unable to rescue anyone else.

"People always talk about, 'well, this is what I would have done in a case,'" said Faison.  "But you have to be in one of those situations to be able to see the situation like I saw last night to know what you would have done."

The man was transported to The MED suffering from non-critical burns.  Investigators believe the fire was accidental.

Faison babysat the surviving children, but said she could not tell them what happened to their parents.

"I said, 'they're out talking to the police.  They'll be in in a minute,'" said Faison.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Investigators said six units suffered damage from the fire, and the Red Cross was called to provide temporary shelter for 17 families affected by the blaze.

The apartment complex did not have a working sprinkler system.

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