Man rescued from late night apartment fire

Jeff Beal (Source: WMC Action News 5)
Jeff Beal (Source: WMC Action News 5)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - A fire intentionally set at an apartment complex nearly killed a man Thursday night.

The fire broke out just before Midnight at Festival Square Apartments in Nutbush.

Jeff Beal said firefighters saved his life. He said after smoke alarms woke him up, he saw his apartment full of smoke.

"It was full of smoke though and I tried to come down the hall and it was like walking into an oven," Beal said.

Beal then tried to make a break for it.

"I tore the air conditioner out the bedroom window where I could get some air and stuck my head out, or I wouldn't be here now," he said.

Beal said firefighters were able to get in and out safely, but he did have some cuts after attempting to jump out the window of his second floor apartment.

"The fire department came in there and got me out of my bedroom and lead me to the door."

Fire investigators ruled the fire an arson.

Beal and other neighbors said a man was arguing with a woman in the apartment complex the night before the fire.

"There was a guy around last night kicking in that girl's door, yelling and screaming about he wants his stuff," Beal said.

The fire did start in the girl's unit. It's unclear if she was home at the time.

One firefighter was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.

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