Residents are grateful neighbor alerted them to apartment fire

Published: Dec. 8, 2022 at 7:36 PM CST
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RIDGELAND, Miss. (WLBT) - A fire at an apartment complex in Ridgeland Wednesday night displaces families just before the holidays. Lives were spared but for some, all belongings were lost.

Residents credit quick-thinking neighbors for alerting residents and firefighters for stopping the spread. E.J. Jenkins saw 20-foot flames when he escaped the fire that destroyed his neighbor’s apartment.

“I could feel the heat. I was hearing the screaming, hear the shouting,” said Jenkins.

The 27-year-old was asleep, with his girlfriend and her sister in the living room when another neighbor walking his dog saw the fire and began knocking on doors.

“Mr. Jody unfortunately his apartment’s gone. That’s Mr. Jody’s,” said Jenkins pointing to the charred apartment next door to his. “I don’t know the family on the back side, but firefighters got here and made sure everyone was safe. Every animal here was safe, every, cat every dog.”

Two units in building 36 were destroyed. Jessica Sparks said she got out of her downstairs apartment in the nick of time.

“The entire kitchen was destroyed on my side. Thankfully nothing else was too bad,” said Sparks. “I didn’t smell anything, didn’t hear anything. I had no idea what was going on until I was coming down my stairs.”

Two-year resident Demetrica Olabintan was in her first-floor apartment unaware of the danger. She was able to escape with her son. The unit sustained water damage.

“All of a sudden I heard a knock on my door, and I was confused because nobody ever knocks on my door,” said Olabintan.” And there was just one of the neighbors yelling that there was a fire to get out, and so I grabbed my son.”

Ridgeland and Madison firefighters responded to the blaze. Ridgeland Assistant Fire Chief Kipp Eldridge said units were on the scene until just after midnight. Water damaged a total of six apartments.

“I’m thankful because some people as you can see lost everything,” added Olabintan.

Management is offering impacted residents apartments in vacant units. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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