24 people escape apartment fire caused by electrical malfunction

24 people escape apartment fire caused by electrical malfunction

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Flames engulfed the roof at a Memphis apartment building late Tuesday night.

Twenty-four people rushed out of their homes at the Eastwood Apartments around 10:45 p.m. when an electrical malfunction near a vent hood sparked in a kitchen, according to Memphis Fire Department.

The fire was confined to just one building, but it was powerful enough to collapse the roof and several walls in the building. MFD said 15 apartments were damaged, with a total estimated damage of $304,100.

All residents were able to escape safely and no one was injured.

Brian Gavin said he woke up to glass breaking and neighbors screaming.

"I heard everybody say, 'Get out, get out,' and we grabbed what little belongings we had and got out," Gavin said.

One thing in his home remained untouched.

"One single present, but it's a blessing I have my life," he said.

Extra fire crews had to come to the scene to finally bring the fire under control, more than an hour after it sparked.

"Everybody made it out one by one safely," Yolanda Coleman said. "That's what matters most, because the gifts and stuff can be replaced."

The Red Cross is helping five families affected by the fire.

Despite losing so much, Gavin said he's glad they all still have their lives.

"And I thank God for that," he said.

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