Use of grill on balcony caused apartment fire that displaced 6 f - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Use of grill on balcony caused apartment fire that displaced 6 families

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They saw flames shooting high into the air from the 3rd floor roof. They saw flames shooting high into the air from the 3rd floor roof.
Eddie Kruger, who lives just a few feet from where the fire started, described the moment when he realized what was going on. Eddie Kruger, who lives just a few feet from where the fire started, described the moment when he realized what was going on.
Fire crews were able to contain the fire to one apartment building, but several units are damaged. Fire crews were able to contain the fire to one apartment building, but several units are damaged.
CORDOVA, TN -

(WMC-TV) - A huge fire at a Cordova apartment complex forced several families out of their homes in the middle of the night. Investigators believe someone using a grill on a balcony started the fire by accident.

The fire started around midnight Wednesday at the Trinity Lakes Apartments, located at Volleyball and Racquetball lanes, just west of North Germantown Parkway.

When Memphis Fire Department arrived, flames were shooting high into the air from the third floor roof. The first set of firefighters had to call for backup, making it a two-alarm fire.

A total of 147 emergency response personnel battled the flames. MFD Lieutenant Wayne Cooke said the fire crews fought the blaze aggressively from the inside of the apartment building.

Eddie Kruger, who lives just a few feet from where the fire started, described the moment when he realized what was going on.

"My girlfriend and I were in my apartment, which is just across the lawn here," he said. "I heard an alarm going off. I turn around and look out the window and the apartment next to me is on fire. I said, ‘Baby, get up! We have to run outside; we have to help these people.'"

Kruger continued, "There are people running and screaming on the ground. Things are on fire and they are falling and they are hitting the first floor and they are hitting the second floor. Then, the second floor is on fire, then the first floor is on fire."

Fire crews were able to contain the fire to one apartment building, but several units are damaged.

Crews finally got the fire under control just after 1 a.m.

Everyone made it out safely. WMC Action News 5 was told the apartment had a special fire wall that helped to prevent the fire from causing even more damage to other apartments.

A 29-year-old woman was taken to the hospital to be treated for nausea and dizziness. The Red Cross is assisting the six displaced families.

A total of 10 people were displaced. Also, the Red Cross assisted four families at the scene. They are also helping with shelter, food, and clothing needs. If you are interested in helping them you are asked to contact the Memphis Red Cross chapter.

Investigators determined that the fire was a result of someone using a barbecue grill on a balcony; the apartment did have working smoke detectors.

Click here to see more photos from the fire.

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