Neighbors save man from burning apartment - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Neighbors save man from burning apartment

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CLEVELAND, TN. (WRCB) -- To Levi Hudson's surprise, his neighbor's apartment was on fire Tuesday night.

Everything happened at a small complex off Henderson Road.

Wednesday, an arson investigator walks through 77-year-old Alvin Bankston's charred living room where the fire spread.

Flames also melted awnings and burned A/C units in the back of the building.

Hudson's only concern is everyone's safety.

"I was trained as a nurse assistant, so I was trying to figure out if everyone was ok," says Hudson.

Investigators say there was a fire in a back bedroom and another in the living room.

There is no word on how the fires started.

Investigator Donnie Sullivan says things look suspicious, but he won't draw any conclusions until Bankston can give more information.

Bankston's neighbor, who is deaf, along with another neighbor, ran into Bankston's burning apartment, placed him on a couch, and took him outside.

Paramedics say the quick thinking stopped things from getting much worse.

Cleveland Paramedic Jeff Spence says, "Their bravery to get him out definitely changed the outcome."

Fire marshals ran door to door making sure no one was sleeping during the blaze.

The burned chair Bankston had been sitting in during the chaos is in front of the home.

Paramedic Jeff Spence says the 77-year-old was breathing, but barely conscious when he got there.

"He was very lethargic, not sure if it was from smoke inhalation or something else," says Spence.

Hudson says through the ordeal, he kept a cool head in a very heated situation.

"I have just learned to be calm," says Hudson. "If you lose your wits, you're no help to anyone."

Investigators say they want to question Bankston's daughter.

She was the last one seen at the apartment before it burned.

Bankston managed to escape with no burns to his body.

He is recovering at the hospital.

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