Firefighters: 18 people injured in Lithonia apartment fire

Firefighter in DeKalb County confirmed multiple people were injured during a two-alarm apartment fire on Friday afternoon in Lithonia.

Fire crews responded to an apartment building near the corner of Fairington Village Drive off Fairington Parkway. Dekalb County firefighters said 18 people were injured trying to escape the fire.

Eight of those people were forced to jump from the second-floor apartments, firefighters said. One of those was rescued by a firefighter, but the others were rescued by a neighbor who jumped into action.

"Nobody was running out of the building. I just screamed out, 'The building's on fire!'" said William Cox.

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Cox said he caught a newborn as well as a pregnant woman.

A second neighbor came out because he heard screams.

"Me and my roommate, we went back in the house and got a little twin mattress, try to put it on the ground, try to break the fall. Then we had to run after that. The whole roof then... It just lit up. It was scary, man," said Courtney Wallace 

SKYFOX 5 flew over the scene shortly before 4 p.m. and saw firefighters hard at work. One of the buildings appeared to have had its roof burned through. 

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In all, firefighters said 17 people were transported to an area hospital for treatment. Fire officials have not released the extent of the injuries.

The Red Cross said they are helping about 11 families or 30 people, including those who were hospitalized. The organization will provide both emotional and other needs such as lodging, food, clothing, personal items, and health-related needs. Caseworkers will help them until they are able to get back on their feet.

The cause of the fire was not immediately known.

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