Several People Injured In Apartment Fire Where Residents Jumped To Safety


UPDATED: Monday March 11, 2013 5:22 PM

People were trapped inside a southeast Columbus apartment complex when a blaze broke out Monday morning just before 10 a.m.

The fire was occurred at 4595 Refugee Road at the Brookside Manor apartments on the southeast side of Columbus.

"I started seeing the smoke rolling all up under, and it started coming in to my apartment,” said resident Derrick Hicks.

An Ohio Highway Patrol sergeant was one of the first people arrive. He turned his siren on to get everyone’s attention in the building.

"I got my PA announcer, loudspeaker, and went to the backside of the apartments. When I got back there, there was a female laying on the sidewalk. She had jumped from the third floor and broke her leg,” said Sgt. Joe Luebbers.

One woman jumped from the building to escape the fire, while firefighters had to rescue others with ladders.

“Put up ladders and rescued the individuals out, and with their heroic efforts, they were able to save quite a few civilians in the city of Columbus today, which we are very fortunate for,” said Battalion Chief Patrick Ferguson.

Ferguson said that 14 apartments were affected, but only eight were occupied. The Red Cross is helping those families.

“As soon as I can get in and put on some dry clothes I am headed to my mom's,” said Hicks.

"I've seen a couple of these in my career, but to be that close it and to be the first one there, it's like a Hollywood movie. People are panicked, confused. You see people in shock and disbelief. When I saw that aluminum ladder, I was never so happy," said Luebbers.

Officials said they have determined which apartment the fires started in, but have not figured out the exact cause.

The damage to the complex is around $200,000, according to fire officials.

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