Investigators search for clues after morning fire

Fire investigators are searching for clues, after a building that houses a Memphis church went up in flames Wednesday morning.

Just after 8:30am, Memphis fire crews were called to the 500 block of Walter Street.

The church, Triumph in God Ministries, takes up the first floor of an apartment building. Upstairs, there are eight apartments. Six of them were occupied when the fire broke out.

The fire chief on the scene said the fire started in a heating unit on the roof of the building. The fire quickly spread to two of the apartments.

While the first floor church had smoke and water damage, the fire was mostly contained to two upstairs units.

Most of the people who live in the apartments are elderly. Fire Chief Ron Mitchell said if not for the help of some neighbors, and one of the people living in the building, the situation could have been worse.

"Luckily these people were passing by and saw it and alerted them to get out," Mitchell said. "Some of these people seem to be special needs people and so it was good that someone did come up to assist them."

Most of the residents of this building are Memphis Housing Authority tenants. Firefighters at the scene told the tenants the MHA would relocate them.