Good Samaritan rushes into burning apartment to save woman

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An electrical fire destroyed an apartment complex Friday morning, but one woman's quick thinking ensured everyone got out safely.

Instinct kicked in for a former river guide as scalding flames shot out of the second floor apartment. She had no time to think when the woman living below the fire went back inside her home.

"She went back in for a second and that's when I just ran over there, opened the door, and grabbed her and said we got to go now," Celeste Rudd said.

Rudd was two doors down from the apartment complex and was working on the Carnes Garden when the woman working with her noticed smoke streaming from the building.

Feeling the heat from the fire, she stood in the street calling out for people to leave their apartments. She also ran up the building screaming 'fire.'

"I knew that there was an elderly woman that lived in the building. I had met her a few days before so I was just concerned about the people that lived there and wanted to make sure that the people were notified," Rudd said.

When that woman, hard of hearing and confused by the commotion, went back inside, Rudd ran to her door without hesitation, pulling her out of the apartment with help from neighbors.

"She was like, 'I can't walk,' and I was like, 'it doesn't matter, we've gotta go.' So, I just grabbed her, I kind of put her body up underneath me," Rudd said.

Rudd said embers fell from the ceiling and hit their clothing, burning through two shirts and leaving a mark on her arm.

But, she said she was just in the right place at the right time.

The family of the woman pulled from the apartment said she is now staying with family members and is doing just fine.

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