• Residents thank neighbor who alerted them to Statesville apartment fire

    By: Dave Faherty

    Updated:

    STATESVILLE, N.C. - Residents in a Statesville apartment complex said they are grateful after a neighbor noticed flames shooting out of the building and ran door to door to make sure everyone got out. 

    Firefighters said they believe the fire started around 9:30 a.m. Wednesday in a downstairs unit and spread to the top floors of an apartment complex on West Sharpe Street.

    Ashley McCurdy was driving by when she and a friend spotted the smoke and took video of the flames after they had spread to the second floor.

    Several people inside said they had no idea about the fire until William Whittington ran over from across the street and started banging on doors.

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    “He knocked on my window and got us out of there," said neighbor Nyla Zyeis.

    Channel 9's Dave Faherty was there as neighbors shook Whittington's hand one by one.

    “So pleased I just shook his hand. Thank god that he was aware of it. He knocked on all of the doors and got everyone out safely. And that’s what we thank God for right now,” said resident Jason Sharpe.

    Whittington said he was glad he was home to help and that no one got hurt.

    When asked if he thought he was a hero, Whittington said, "No. That’s something everybody should do. No hero in that.”

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    From Chopper 9 SkyZoom, we could see smoke coming out of the attic of the four-unit apartment complex and some of the damage.

    Several firefighters could be seen trying to salvage items from the apartment complex and the Red Cross was also on scene to help residents who lost nearly everything.

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