Teen rushes into burning building to help neighbors - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Teen rushes into burning building to help neighbors

When 19-year-old Jerricho Dyous saw the fire, he ran inside the burning building, pulled the fire alarm, and ran upstairs to help his friends. When 19-year-old Jerricho Dyous saw the fire, he ran inside the burning building, pulled the fire alarm, and ran upstairs to help his friends.
As many as 75 to 80 people have been displaced after the fire damaged several units at the complex. As many as 75 to 80 people have been displaced after the fire damaged several units at the complex.
COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

Dozens of families are out of their homes after a fire ripped through their Columbus apartment complex after the fire at the Avalon Apartments off Cusseta Road started around 4 p.m. Thursday.

The cause of the blaze is still unknown, but investigators do not suspect foul play.

Thirty firefighters and multiple trucks dumped gallons of water on the roof of an apartment building for about an hour to put out the blaze.

"I was pushing the doors open.  Not knocking but pushing them open making sure they get out.  I opened up his door where he was.  He was still sitting on his couch, smoke blowing in the house at him," said 19-year-old Jerricho Dyous.

When Dyous saw the fire, he ran inside the burning building, pulled the fire alarm, and ran upstairs to help his friends.

"I know God wouldn't let me get hurt to go up there. He gave me the strength to go up there so I know he is going to give me the strength to come back down," said Dyous.

Lashanda Thomas and her three kids live in one of the destroyed apartments.

"My 19-year-old was there and she doesn't know what happened.  She said that the balcony was on fire, but she said by the time the fire department came it was total--it was out of control," said Thomas.

She says one of her daughters came too close to being in the burning building.

"She was out and when she looked back she said she wasn't even gone like a minute.  She looked back and the balcony was on fire," said the mother.

On Thursday evening, Columbus firefighters said about 18 units total are damaged by smoke and/or water and about four of those have heavy fire damage.

Representatives with the American Red Cross say as many as 75 to 80 people have been displaced after the fire damaged several units at the complex.  The Red Cross has put three families in a hotel and the other families displaced staying with family and friends.

Firefighters say there were no injuries, and Dyous whose home was also damaged says they will make it through.

"If it is messed up God is going to help us out," said Dyous.

Fire officials say they will be on scene throughout Thursday night monitoring for hot spots.

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SLIDESHOW: Avalon Apartments Fire

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A fire ripped through the Avalon Apartments around 4 pm Thursday See Photos More>>

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