Witness: Large apartment fire started by angry resident - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Witness: Large apartment fire started by angry resident

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A fire is burning inside a Midtown Memphis apartment complex. A fire is burning inside a Midtown Memphis apartment complex.
Colonial Apartments are located in the medical district, near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Montgomery Street. Colonial Apartments are located in the medical district, near the intersection of Madison Avenue and Montgomery Street.
Dozens of firefighters are on the scene working to control the flames. Dozens of firefighters are on the scene working to control the flames.
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Crews responded to a large three-story apartment fire in Midtown Memphis Friday.

The Memphis Fire Department fought the flames for a little more than an hour at the apartment complex located at the intersection of Madison Avenue and Montgomery Street. The building now called The Colonial was built in 1910.

The complex was immediately evacuated when the fire began, but a woman had to be rescued from the second floor.

Robert Cole lives in The Colonial from which he fled Friday. He had enough time to grab his dog, Cassie, and photo taken with his two sisters.

"I think with the damage I see [is] from the second floor ... It's not going to be very livable," said Cole.

Witnesses say a resident was jumping on cars in the parking lot. One of the cars belonged to a relative of the building owner. A verbal argument ensued between the two men.

After that argument, the man jumping on cars went into his apartment. Residents say they then saw him running away with a suitcase in his hand and flames were shooting out of his apartment.

"We passed him in the hallway 'cause we smelled smoke. He was leaving with the suitcase, and we saw flames coming out of the window," said resident Donnie Shumake.

According to reports, the man running was tackled and held for police.

Up to 50 firefighters and emergency personnel responded to the fire, which they say was under control in a matter of minutes. A firetruck crashed into a fence when arriving on scene, as captured on a witness's smartphone camera.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. Memphis police have not released any information on the possible arson suspect.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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