JFD: Apartment fire started in kitchen - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

JFD: Apartment fire started in kitchen

Javon Doucette points to the window she was forced to jump out of to escape the blaze. Javon Doucette points to the window she was forced to jump out of to escape the blaze.

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Jonesboro Fire investigators say cooking is to blame as the cause of an apartment fire at The Pines Apartment Complex Wednesday.

Jonesboro Fire Marshal Jason Wills said the fire started in the kitchen area of the apartment. The fire was contained to apartment E-6, but smoke and water damage has affected as many as 26 people.

A young girl was trapped inside the apartment where the fire started. She did make it out safe and its all thanks to one man that came to the rescue.

"I smelled smoke so I came outside here and looked up here and smoke was rolling out the door with the door closed," said Joe Crawford. He handles the maintenance at the Pines Apartment Complex, but Wednesday night he was a life saver.

"I kicked the door in and I was hollering for somebody inside the apartment and I heard the girl screaming in the back," said Crawford.

Fourteen-year-old Javon Doucette was asleep in the apartment and woke up to Crawford's voice. "I woke up. I was in my mom's room and I couldn't breathe so I ran to the closest room. I put my face in a pillow and got on the ground and he was screaming to me are you ok? Can you get out? And I said no," said Doucette.

Crawford yelled for his wife to call the fire department and went to warn others. "I was beating on the doors upstairs and as I went downstairs I beat on them. I then went to get a ladder that was on the side of the shop. I just busted out the window and I said Javon if you're in there just jump," said Crawford.

Which is exactly what Javon did..."I jumped out that one (the window). And I fell head first to the ground. There was a bunch of glass where I jumped from the window. They don't know how I missed all that glass," said Doucette.

Javon managed to escape with only minor cuts and bruises. Crawford says this isn't the first time for the Doucette family to face hardship. "They've been here since New Orleans. They're a family from there. You know, they've already lost everything once. She couldn't lose her child," said Crawford.

Jonesboro Assistant Fire Chief Alan Dunn commends Crawford on his bravery. "In this particular fire, I'd call him a hero," said Dunn.

And as Crawford reflected back on what transpired, he remains humble. "I did what anyone else would do. When you hear someone screaming, you can't do anything but help them," said Crawford. As for Javon, she's thankful Crawford heard her cry.

The Red Cross assisted the 26 displaced residents, but after an already rough start to the year, a spokesperson with the Red Cross says last night's fire quote "pushes our emergency care of individuals." If you would like to help the individuals affected contact the Jonesboro Red Cross at (870) 932-3212.

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