Meridian, Miss. Four families are out of their homes tonight after an early fire. Wednesday morning around 4 a.m., about a half dozen fire engines responded to an apartment fire at 3813 5th Street. At least one of the apartments was fully involved by the time they arrived. However firefighters had to switch to a more defensive approach as the fire began to spread to neighboring apartments. Fire investigator Tunzyaan Griffin says the fire spread quickly due to the building older design. Fortunately, everyone made it out safely.
Griffin says "The construction of the building. A lot of these older homes have what's called balloon frame construction. That has void spaces that go up and go down. So fire can travel up and run the whole building."
Smoke detectors and an apartment resident are the main reasons why everyone made it out safely and without a single injury, and two of the residents weren't at home when the fire started.
Griffin went on to say "There were a couple of smoke detectors functional. Everyone got out and that’s the main thing. The resident in apartment number one saw the fire, ran out, and alerted the neighbors and got everyone out"
TV’s and furniture can be replaced, but a life cannot. Most early morning fires don't end injury free. Although the residents lost most or all of their possessions, at least they are alive.
"That’s the main thing: Everyone made it out safely,” Griffin stresses. He went on to say “All the people living there who were at home, made it out safely and that’s the most important thing. You can replace material things, but you can't replace people. Everyone got out safely no injuries."
Griffin says the fire could have been much worse had it had vinyl siding instead of the aluminum siding. The fire was hot enough to melt the siding closest to the doors and windows.