Neighbors put out apartment fire

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POSTED: Friday, May 4, 2012 - 4:00pm

UPDATED: Friday, May 4, 2012 - 4:04pm

A north Baton Rouge woman and her family are giving thanks Friday after a group of their neighbors helped to put out a fire at her apartment. It happened around 10 Thursday evening at the King’s Court apartment complex off of Dougherty.

An electric stove malfunctioned and caught fire with a mother and her children inside. Thanks to the quick thinking of friends and family, no one was hurt.

“When they told me Shanika’s house was on fire, I just went!” Christopher Collins says.

For him, running to the rescue was instinct. “I was like ‘Hey, I gotta get the kids out, make sure she’s straight.”

He and several other people saw smoke pouring out of apartment 151. Then, they tried to help.

“First, we made sure that all of them was out. Then, we really concentrated on putting the fire out,” says Jacob Nelson.

They smashed a window and used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames before the fire department arrived. “By the time we got back there with a fire extinguisher, the blaze was all the way to the roof,” Collins explains.

Shanika Jarreau says if her friends hadn’t acted when they did, she might not have made it. “I think me and my kids wouldn’t be alive today. I really do.”

The guys say, no big deal. “I think somebody would do that same thing for me,” Nelson says.

They say King’s Cross is close-knit. “Everybody is a big family back here,” Collins says. “I don’t even stay back here and everyone treats me like family.”

Helping each other is just what they do. “We’ve been knowing each other long before we moved here,” Nelson says.

Jarreau says she doesn’t even know how to thank her neighbors. “I thought I had lost everything for a minute,” she says. “Now, we don’t have to start over from scratch.”

But they say, there’s no thanks needed. “It could have been bigger than it was,” Collins says. “I’m just glad we got out there in time to put the fire out.”

Firefighters say there was about $2,500 worth of damage to the apartment, mainly in the kitchen.

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