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 saycooking is to blame as the cause of an apartment fire at The Pines ApartmentComplex Wednesday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which is exactly what Javon did..."I jumped out that one (thewindow). And I fell head first to the ground. There was a bunch of glass whereI 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. Crawfordsays 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. Youknow, they've already lost everything once. She couldn't lose her child,"said Crawford.

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

And as Crawford reflected back on what transpired, he remainshumble. "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'sthankful Crawford heard her cry.

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

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