Man helps 12-, 4-year-old escape fire

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A child was burned in an apartment fire Saturday night, but escaped major injuries thanks to the actions of one man.

Memphis Fire Department rushed to the fire on Havana Street where an apartment building caught fire.

"I thought I was going to lose him. I really thought he was going to die," said Zakorie Cook.

Cook said she'd stepped out of her apartment in the 1500 block of Havana Street for 20 minutes before the fire started.

Cook said her 12-year-old son Zaterrion and her 4-year-old son were in the apartment, along with a 22-year-old cousin. Cook said Zaterrion sparked the fire by trying to cook hot dogs on the stove.

"He put on some hot dogs for my four-year-old, and some kind of way he done drifted off, and he said the house was just in flames," Cook said.

Firefighters were able to put out the fire, but not before the 12-year-old suffered burns, according to witnesses.

"I was sitting in my living room and listening to my music, and I kept on hearing a lot of popping noise, so I come outside and I smell smoke," Johnathan Ewing said. "After that, I hit on their door telling them it was a fire, and after that, the little boy was opening the door, and I grabbed him and grabbed his brother and pulled them down the stairs."

Zaterrion was seriously burned in the fire and taken to Le Bonheur. Despite his injuries, his mother said he's in good spirits and should hopefully be released from the hospital mid-week.

"He's sedated," Cook said. "They cleaned his wounds. He had third-degree burns on his left foot, and he's doing better this morning."

Cook said she had no insurance, and the Red Cross is providing some support. She'll have to replace all her material items, but she is forever grateful her two children in the home didn't fall victim to the flames.

"Thank God that he's alive. That's all that's important," she said.

The Memphis Fire Department said seven units were damaged in the fire, and the cause was ruled as accidental. There was a working smoke detector.

The total damage to the apartment building and contents is estimated to be $108,100.

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