Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Although flames destroyed several apartments during an early morning fire, victims say one of their neighbors helped get them to safety.
“I immediately start yelling fire and trying to get help for everybody, called 911 and started knocking on doors, trying to warn everybody that there was a fire,” Dominique Chaplin explained of the fire at Paces Run Apartments.
Instead of saving himself first, he said he jumped into action.
“Somebody could’ve easily died and that was my main concern getting everybody out of the building,” Chaplin said.
Columbia Fire Department responded to a large blaze at the Paces Run Apartments around 4 a.m. Saturday morning.
The fire completely destroyed 12 apartments and 40 people are displaced including Chaplin.
“It’s very devastating. This is very devastating to see people lose their life and lose all their personal possessions and things that probably meant a lot to them,” Chaplin said passionately.
No one was harmed and the kindness of a good Samaritan is giving neighbors a sense of comfort.
“More safe because at least You know you got people that care you know some people would just run and leave you there,” Paces Run Resident Avery Green said.
“I’ve always considered myself to be a first responder type person I like to help people, I’m actually a caregiver for a living so that’s just what I do,” Chaplin smiled.
The Red Cross is assisting the fire victims.
The Richland County Fire Marshal is investigating.