NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Fire officials said an improperly disposed cigarette was to blame for a two-alarm apartment fire that damaged eight units Wednesday morning.
"You hear about these things happening and you don't expect it to happen to you," displaced resident Stephanie Wilson said.
The fire broke out shortly before 10 a.m. in the C building of the Pointe Breeze apartments on the 400 block of Lemont Drive, off Broadmoor Drive. The first units on scene reported heavy smoke and flames, and called in a second round of firefighters for backup.
"I opened my porch door right there and smoke started coming in the house," resident Chris Clemmons said. "By that time I got out, got my puppy dog out, ran outside and called 911."
Residents assisted apartment management in knocking on doors to get residents and their pets to safety.
"I thought this was like worst case scenario [and] that I just needed to calm down," Wilson said about her reaction after getting a phone call at work that her building was on fire. "Somebody's pan burned up or something but [I didn't think] that it wasn't like this. So this is what I was hoping hadn't happened."
Sky 5 HD showed several firefighters on the roof and on ladders spraying the charred building down. They were able to contain the fire to one building, but all eight units suffered either extensive fire or water damage.
"It's hard, like my dog got out," Wilson added. "I have a lot to be thankful for…that I wasn't here."
"I'm just glad nobody got hurt," resident William Jarvis said. "Nobody was killed. We're safe."
The apartment management and the Red Cross are helping residents find a place to stay.