CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- Preston Jenkins shows our camera his bandaged wrist after he ran to the home across the street while it was fully engulfed in flames.
Jenkins says he was just trying to help a homeless man he thought was inside. "I think the old man that I had been helping was over there. I thought he might have been sleep and just wasn't awake."
Wednesday morning fire investigators condemned the charred remains of the home on Roanoke Avenue.
Jenkins says the flames were too intense for him to get inside the front door. "I barely got in just a little bit and it just started blowing back on me. I had to get out of there."
Firefighters say the home had flames shooting through the roof when they got there.
Besides the blaze they had another problem on their hands. Power lines snapped keeping them at bay in fear of being electrocuted.
Bruce Garner of the Chattanooga Fire Department says, "They had to jump from their truck to clear the line then they had to process what do we have here."
Investigators say they used a training exercise to "hop" out of the truck as it could have been an electrical hazard.
Jenkins says he didn't think of the consequences of trying to be a hero, but he knows his limits and plans to leave the heroism to the professionals.
"I was concerned he was going to die in that house and I didn't want that. I was afraid he was by himself and I hate for that to happen to somebody," Jenkins says.
Bruce Garner says, "We recommend with a house that fully involved that you just step back."
The house sustained many damages. The cause of the fire is unknown.
Jenkins suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns.
The spill should be cleared early this afternoon, according to a news release from Chattanooga State.
900 Whitehall Road
Chattanooga, TN 37405
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