Fire causes evacuation of Meridian apartment building

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The residents of a Meridian apartment complex I woke up to the smell of smoke and the sound of a fire alarm early Sunday morning.

It happened about 1:15 a.m. When Meridian police and fire crews arrived there was thick smoke billowing out of the ground floor. Officers and firefighters rushed to alert everyone in the building.“I didn’t hear anybody else’s alarm. I figured it was something hinky,” resident Kenneth Caldwell says.

Caldwell says he was up when the fire alarm went off.

“It was about three or four minutes later when we started smelling smoke, then we knew something was up,” Caldwell explains.

The apartment building, which has many older and handicapped tenants, was completely evacuated as firefighters put out the fire.

The fire was on the bottom floor of the 6 floor building. Fire officials say a burner on a stove was left on.

“The smoke filled up the underground area in the first floor. It looked serious then,” Caldwell says.

They say cabinets above the stove caught fire. The fire was contained to one area.

Officers were on scene quickly, trying to evacuate everyone. Deville Manor has many older tenants, some in wheelchairs or using walkers. First responders were making sure everyone got out, but helped them do so in a safe manor.

“On a daily basis it’s a nice and quiet building. We have some really good residents here. I’ve been here about eight years and have had no complaints whatsoever,” Caldwell says.

Metro Ambulance had several crew members at the scene ensuring everyone was okay. Blankets were provided to the dozens of tenants as they looked on.