Residents jump from burning Dallas apartment building

- Several people were forced to jump from their third-floor apartment after a fire erupted at a complex in Far East Dallas. One person even tossed a baby to safety.

The fire at the Meadows at Ferguson apartments started around 7 a.m. Wednesday. It quickly grew to two alarms with intense flames and thick black smoke visible from highway cameras near Interstate 635 and Centerville Road.

Resident Byron Campbell said he was about to leave in his car when he saw the flames shooting through the roof. He immediately parked and ran to warn people on the third floor.

“I came back down to the floor. I see them getting a bed ready and everything so the people can jump out the window so we could catch them,” he said. “I went straight towards the window and I saw a lady on the third floor hanging her baby out the window.”

Campbell said the woman yelled and begged him to catch the baby. He said he was full of adrenaline and just hoped he wouldn’t drop the little boy. Thankfully he was able to safely catch him.

“After she dropped the baby I hurried up and curled him up and caught him real good. And I hurried up and took him away from the fire and got him to the fire department lady,” he said.

Patrick Thomas says he began busting out windows so they could breathe.

“I hear someone banging on the door and then I open the door and see nothing but flames,” Thomas said. “There was no way out.”

Dallas Fire-Rescue officials said six residents, including the baby, had to jump from the third floor to escape the fire. Other residents grabbed mattresses from a downstairs apartment to help cushion their fall.

“Throwing my baby out to complete stranger that I didn’t know, but I do thank him because without him my child’s life would not have been saved,” said Shuntara Thomas. “As long as I got I family I’m good. So I may not have anything else, but it teaches me not to be thankful for the material things but to be thankful for everything that I do have.”

Two residents were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. A firefighter also suffered burns to his shoulder and arm and was taken to the hospital, DFR officials said. He was released after a few hours and is expected to make a full recovery.

Dallas Fire-Rescue says the building was so badly damaged it had to be torn down, and the cause will likely never be known.

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