Samaritans extinguish apartment fire

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 5, 2019

By Eric Williams

The Orange Leader 

Firefighters in Orange say a group of Samaritans forced entry into an apartment Sunday to extinguish a fire.

Orange Fire Department was dispatched to a fire at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday at the Velma Jeter Apartments, in the 5700 block of Velma Jeter Drive in Orange.

According to residents at the scene, they were awakened by the sounding fire alarm going off from the blaze. 

Several residents noticed the fire in the apartment and quickly grabbed nearby fire extinguishers to extinguish the blaze.  

One man broke the glass to retrieve an extinguisher stored in the complex’s sidewalk, kicked in the apartment door and extinguished the fire. The man had to be treated on the scene by fire responders due to smoke inhalations after he collapsed from going inside the burning unit. 

He did not require transport to a hospital.

When firefighters arrived, the fire was mostly out with heavy smoke coming from the unit. They did spend some time verifying the fire was out and that the damage was limited to the single unit.

The occupant of the apartment was not home at the time, and according to neighbors, the resident was seen moving out earlier in the day.

The fire could have been much worse had the sprinkler system not done its job and the residents had not teamed up and worked together according to firefighters.

Nine portable fire extinguishers were used by the neighbors before the fire department arrived.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation by the City of Orange Fire Marshal.