Memphis apartment fire investigation

(WMC-TV) – Some Memphis residents have been forced to find another place to sleep after a raging fire damaged multiple units inside a Hickory Hill apartment complex.

Chopper five flew over The Landing at Winchester Apartments during the worst of the fire.  Heavy flames and smoke sent residents running.  Once the flames were put out, even the youngest of eyes looked on with relief that lives were spared.

"I just don't like to see people die in fires and stuff," said apartment resident Kelsie Cash.

Many people who saw the fire from their apartments ran out and watched as fire fighters kept the blaze contained to one building, preventing it from spreading.  There were no injuries, but many heavy hearts.  Resident Candis Hence who was called to the scene from work.

"I'm gutted from the front to the back. I lost everything. Everything is gone," said Hence.

Friends brought food and water to hold victims over until the Red Cross could meet with them.  Investigators are not sure of a cause yet.

"We made a  quick aggressive attack on the structure and attempted to extinguish the fire, but because of the spread to the attack we brought our companies out and went on the defensive and fought it from the exterior until we were able to bring it under control," stated Lt. Wayne Cooke of the Memphis Fire Department.

Witnesses tell us there was a loud boom and then flames.  One of those witnesses was Lakeitha Boyce.

"We backed up, not wanting it to explode on us so we backed all the way up to the apartment," said Boyce.

A total of eight units were heavily damaged, though some residents were able to salvage some of their property.

While investigators are still working to determine a cause, many residents who live in the building say they believe it started with a barbecue which aren't allowed on the patios because of the fire risk they present.

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