Jackson firefighters battle water problems during apartment fire


JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Six families are out of their homes tonight after a fire ripped through their apartment building in Jackson. One boy is being hailed a hero for warning families. But concerns over poor city infrastructure center may have impacted how fire crews responded.

Witnesses described the fire breaking out a little after 10:00 a.m. on the first floor of a building at the West Ridge apartments off O’ferrel Ave. Thanks to neighbors working together everyone got out in time with little injuries.

Nine-year-old Kadarious Brown found himself in a dangerous situation as flames spread throughout the side of the complex he lived on. But it didn’t stop him from helping neighbors.

“When I knocked on the door there were just two people there,” Kadarious Brown said. “But the other two rooms no one was in. They’re all gone.”

In the aftermath, the whole building sat in ruins after flames spread from the center first-floor apartment to the second floor. Families lost everything.

“TVs, my bed clothes, lamps, basically everything was in that apartment,” Debbie Barnes told us.

To notify firefighters one person from the complex chose to run down to the fire station next to the zoo. When crews arrived people noticed they had problems getting enough water to come out of the closest fire hydrant.

“They did have to go to multiple fire hydrants to try to find water to get what they need,” Latoya Moore stated. “But they did what they needed to do to tend to the fire. It would have been very good for that fire hydrant to work but it didn’t because we all know how Jackson is right now.”

The Assistant Fire Chief told us only one main water line runs down O’ferrel Ave. Which was operating as usual, but between four different hoses, including the ladder hose, the water volume couldn’t keep up.

“That hydrant is not going to supply that,” Assistant Chief Patrick Armon said. “Actually that main is not going to supply that. When you catch two hydrants that are on the same line it’s basically like you’re catching one hydrant because it’s the same like that’s underground.”

The ladder hose alone requires up to 500 gallons of water per minute to power it fully. Breaking down their response firefighters believe it wouldn’t have made a difference if they set it up differently.

At the end of the day, authorities and renters are grateful no one was hurt and commend all those for helping with what resources they had. Mississippi red cross is working to help those with nowhere to go. The landlord hopes to rebuild.

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