Smoking likely caused apartment fire that killed 2, injured 2 others

edgehill fire.jpeg
Posted at 4:28 PM, Jul 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-06 18:01:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — An Edgehill apartment fire that claimed the life of two brothers and injured two others was likely caused by smoking according to the Nashville Fire department.

Nashville Fire responded to the blaze at the apartment complex on 14th Avenue South around 2:30 a.m. Saturday. When they arrived, they found three people with injuries, who had gotten out of the building. Jamarcus Carney, 24, was trapped upstairs, he died from his injuries.

"He was a bright young man, loved his mom his brother, his sisters, nothing he wouldn't do for them. Nothing you couldn't ask him that he wouldn't try to do. He was just a warm young man and he's going to be truly missed," Carney's aunt Lolita Cannon said.

Cannon said her sister, Ammie Gaines, 43, was asleep on the couch when she awoke to a smoke filled living room. She tried to put the flames out but could not and yelled for everyone to get out.

"No mother should have to go through this. The mom and the daughter went out the back door, Cedric ran through the fire downstairs out the front door, Jamarcus was still upstairs beating on the window," Cannon said.

Gaines and her 8-year-old daughter were treated and released from the hospital. Cedric Fitzgerald, 20, was at Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he was in critical condition. Cannon said Fitzgerald was burned to about 80 percent of his body. He died Tuesday as a result of his injuries.

"He can understand what you're saying if you ask him a question," she said.

The family has set up a GoFundMe account to help support the survivors.

"God is good and with all the support I want to thank everybody. Without it I don't think he would have made it," Cannon said.

According to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency, the smoke detector in the apartment was an ionized smoke detector. It was installed in June 2018 and inspected in September 2018. It has a 10-year ionized battery.

A Newschannel5 investigation learned ionized smoke detectors generally go off when there are huge flames, but they do not work well at detecting smoky, smoldering fires as those caused by someone smoking. Photoelectric detectors are more expensive but save more lives because they detect smoke while you're sleeping which is the big killer in fires.