MFD still investigating cause of apartment fire - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

MFD still investigating cause of apartment fire

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Photo courtesy Jill Weatherford Photo courtesy Jill Weatherford
Matt Gerien / FOX13 News Matt Gerien / FOX13 News
Matt Gerien / FOX13 News Matt Gerien / FOX13 News
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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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MIDTOWN MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) -

UPDATE: The Memphis Fire Department is still trying to determine what caused a massive fire at the Colonial Apartments Friday evening.

The fire broke out just after 5 PM and was knocked down at 5:43.  An adult male was treated and released on the scene for a minor injury to his hand.  There were no injuries to firefighters.

Neighbors say they heard a fight in the apartment where the fire broke out.

MORE:  Residents rummage for remains in fire-gutted apartments
     
Several people were trapped and an elderly woman had to be rescued from the second floor.

The fire was on the second floor of the structure and spread to the third floor.

Several firefighters from different fire houses around the city responded to the fire.

A fire truck responding to the fire lost its brakes and crashed into a fence and concrete barrier. The firefighters, not skipping a beat, jumped out, geared up, and helped out in battling the fire.

"This girl kept saying, 'There's somebody in there! There's somebody in there!,'" said Donnie Shewmake, who lives right below the burning apartment. He ran upstairs to see what was happening.

"I tried to kick the door in it just got to hot up there."

Shewmake couldn't get in and an decided to get out of the building. Several neighbors say they heard an argument in the apartment where the fire started.

"It sounded like a fight going on upstairs," Shewmake said.

"It sounded like someone stomping, stomping a lot above my bedroom," Robert Cole said.

Witnesses told FOX13 News witnesses saw someone run out of the apartment with a suitcase. The person ended up in the parking lot behind the apartment complex and was jumped by several people.

Just before 9 p.m., police officers were seen leading someone away in handcuffs near the Colonial Apartments, but MPD tells FOX 13, that person has not been charged. He has since been released according to MPD.

"A dude got jumped right here so we was like, Oh my God! What's really going on here?,'" said Kyla Lewis, witness.

Witnesses said the man that was jumped was living the in the apartment that caught fire.

There was a large police presence at the apartment fire. Witnesses said they had a man in custody and police officers were questioning people on the scene.

Members of Red Cross Mid-South are at the apartment building helping residents who were displaced by the fire.

Firefighters were able to get the flames contained about 20 minutes after the call came in, but several apartments were damaged. Tenants grabbed what they could. Cole was able to get his dog Cassie and some family photos. He's not sure what's left of his apartment.

"When your landlord comes running through your apartment and tells you the building's on fire, to get out, and get what you need, you're scared," Cole said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

While investigators try and figure out the cause of this fire, firefighters urge all citizens to take safety precautions as winter weather approaches.  Click the link below for winter fire safety tips from the Memphis Fire Department.

FOX13 News reporter Matt Gerien contributed to this report.

http://www.memphisfirefighters.org/safety_info/htm/Winter_Storm.htm

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