Heroic Witnesses Help Women, Children Survive Apartment Fire


CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — Investigators are searching for an arsonist who set the Garden Walk Apartments on fire. Six people, including a pregnant woman, were forced to jump from a third-story window.
Residents told Channel 2’s Matt Johnson a man was kicked out of a party at an apartment Friday night, and returned early Saturday morning to start the fire.
Investigators say the fire started at the door of one of the units.
Many people could have been hurt or killed if it weren’t for heroic actions by a couple of witnesses.

Some of the victims jumped from the top floor on the front side that’s only one floor down, but on the back side, women and children jumped from the third-story level.

A mother and two young girls were loaded into an ambulance and taken to the hospital to get checked out. They nodded when Gehlbach asked if they were going to be OK.

Another woman, who is eight months pregnant, also jumped from the top floor.

A man visiting the complex with his younger brother heard the screams for help and came to the rescue. The women and kids were trapped with flames blocking the center stairway.
“So we actually caught the kids, then once the kids were down got the mother to jump down,” witness Paris Heard said. “She was the last one to jump. Once we got all of them down, we got all of them over to the side.”
The fire department says all the injuries are non-life-threatening. The two girls were not hurt.

The American Red Cross was helping at least 10 displaced families and fire investigators will get inside the building Saturday morning to look into how the blaze started.
Officials have not released the name of the suspect and have made no arrests.

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