Firefighters battle large blaze in Midtown Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Firefighters battled a blaze late Thursday afternoon at an apartment building at 196 South Cooper, near Linden in Midtown Memphis.

The fire, which raged from the third story of the building, sent a large plume that could be scene over much of Memphis.

While investigators try to determine the cause of the fire, Jason Brandon says he's glad to have his dog back in his arms, and he's thanking the brave neighbor who stepped in and risked his own life and safety to help.

The daring rescue happened moments after flames broke out at the apartment building. With billowing smoke, flames and intense heat rapidly spreading, neighbor Jason Woodford could see his neighbor's dog, Rex, was in trouble.

"We tried to get everybody out," said Woodford. "Then there's a dog that lives upstairs. We tried to bust the door down, but couldn't. So I had to bust a hole in my wall and got the dog out."
Woodford lay in the street after pulling the dog to safety.

As flames continued to rip through the third story of the building, Brandon said he couldn't believe what Woodford had done to rescue his dog. "Jason, I don't know what I'd do without him, to be honest. He busted in the wall next to the door, and grabbed him and saved his life."

Other residents arrived on the scene in tears, too upset to speak and anxiously wondering what they'll do now.

"Right now I'm just kinda shocked," said Brandon. "And don't have any other thoughts except 'where do we go from here? Is there anything salvageable?' Probably not." 
But Brandon says he's incredibly grateful that his neighbor stepped in to help his furry friend. "To Jason, I'm definitely grateful...and I appreciate it buddy."

There were about a dozen rental units inside the building, neighbors said.  
The Red Cross has stepped in to help some of the residents find a temporary place to stay.

to e-mail Jamel Major.