Man helps evacuate building as fire spreads through apartment - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Man helps evacuate building as fire spreads through apartment

9 residents are displaced after a house fire in Springfield Township. (FOX19/Shawn Lanier) 9 residents are displaced after a house fire in Springfield Township. (FOX19/Shawn Lanier)
Jerry White says he helped get neighbors out of the building as smoke thickened (FOX19/Shawn Lanier) Jerry White says he helped get neighbors out of the building as smoke thickened (FOX19/Shawn Lanier)
SPRINGFIELD TWP, OH (FOX19) - Neighbors are being credited with safely getting residents out of an apartment building after it caught on fire Saturday afternoon.

The fire started around 12:30 p.m. at the Hidden Hills Apartments in the 100 block of Caldwell Drive in Springfield Township. 

When resident Jerry White got back from the store and saw the smoke, his first instinct was to make sure everyone got out OK. 

"I could see smoke, I could smell smoke, I could hear fire detectors," White said. "So I went in, went upstairs, started banging on everybody's doors saying 'fire, fire, get out, get out!'"

White says he and another neighbor went down to the first floor where the fire originated. They checked the apartment to make sure no one was in there but the smoke was too thick and he couldn't see much, White said. 

During his search he found one woman was still in the building. When White tried to get her out, he says she told him she had to get dressed first. 

That's when he called 911 again, he says. Even though the dispatcher told him not to go back in the building, he said he couldn't leave the woman behind.

[Listen: 911 call of the Springfield Township Fire]

"She said don't go back in there," White said. "I told her, 'I'm going to get Vicky.' So I went back in and got Vicky and got Vicky out." 

Nine people were displaced and five units were damaged. 

One resident said those with affected apartments were told they are not allowed back in.

Officials say they are currently investigating the fire as an accident. 

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