- Associated Press - Friday, February 20, 2015

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Neighbors stepped up to help firefighters and police officers who responded to an apartment fire in Middle Tennessee where several people were trapped in second-floor units.

The Leaf Chronicle (https://leafne.ws/1DA8Yty) reports one couple caught two children and a woman who jumped to get away from the flames. Firefighters rescued others from the building in Clarksville.

Clarksville Fire Marshal Ray Williams says due to the quick response from everyone there were only three minor injuries reported.

“I want to commend each and every one of those people who helped out our police and firefighters,” Williams said.

“When our fire crews arrived, there was heavy flames and smoke coming from Building ‘G’ of the complex. We were told there were a lot of people still inside, which was anticipated. They (the crews) went into rescue mode,” he said.

“People were jumping from second floor apartments due to flames lapping up from a ground floor apartment that was fully involved.”

Tracy German and her husband, James, said they caught the children and a woman from a second-story window when the fire was at its height.

“They were going to stay there,” Tracy said, “but I told them, ‘No, you need to jump.’ They trusted us, thank God, and so she threw the babies.

“I caught one. My husband caught the other one. Then we caught the big lady, bigger than me. … It was just crazy.”

Tracy said she also directed firefighters to the back, where they put up ladders to help others escape.

“We were just doing what the Lord tells us,” said James, “which is help your neighbor.

“We’re no heroes. God is the hero.”

Williams said investigators think the fire began in a ground floor apartment kitchen.

In all, 18 people were displaced by the blaze.

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Information from: The Leaf-Chronicle, https://www.theleafchronicle.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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