Couple jumps from second floor to escape south Charlotte apartment fire

CHARLOTTE — Channel 9 has learned two people jumped from the second floor of an apartment building in south Charlotte to escape a large fire Tuesday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the apartments on Kings Ridge Drive, near Broomsage Lane, at around 2:15 p.m.

Chopper 9 flew over the scene, where heavy smoke could be seen pouring out from where the flames had burned a huge hole in the roof of the apartment building.

Fire officials said it took only minutes for the fire to race through two upstairs units and damage the two below.

“Right now, we have about 60 firefighters on the scene and it took us about 15 minutes to get the fire under control,” Capt. Jackie Gilmore said at the scene.

As crews worked to control the flames, Channel 9′s Mark Becker spoke to a couple, Rakeem and Zay, who said they were in their second-floor apartment when they heard a commotion outside.

“We looked out on the balcony and just seen a whole bunch of smoke, and we heard a whole bunch of noise,” Rakeem said.

Rakeem also saw a wall of flames and knew that they had to get out.

“I had to jump over the balcony and she couldn’t jump over, so she went back and jumped out the window and I just tried to catch her,” he said.

Becker asked Zay if she jumped into Rakeem’s arms.

“I just jumped. I tried to get my leg stuck. I should have jumped the balcony like he did, but I seen the fire,” Zay said.

“When I tried to catch her, when I broke her fall, I popped my leg pretty bad,” Rakeem added.

Officials said the couple was treated for minor injuries and that everyone else made it out safely.

The accidental fire was started because of an electrical failure and cost about $150,000 in damage, Charlotte Fire officials said. Four units were affected and The Red Cross is helping residents.

This is an ongoing investigation. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

(WATCH BELOW: Crews battle large house fire near Lake Wylie)