MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - A deadly shooting and an apartment fire happened within a block of one another Wednesday morning in Whitehaven.
Police found a man suffering from a gunshot wound at the Verano Park Apartments around 5 a.m. on Feb. 29. Memphis police were already in the neighborhood less than a block away from this scene at a two-alarm apartment fire that forced at least 16 people out of their homes.
While on the scene of the fire officers heard gunshots nearby. That led them to the apartments next door on the 3500-block of Devon where they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound.
Paramedics pronounced the man dead at the scene.
The fire broke out just after 3 a.m. When firefighters arrived, flames were shooting from a second-floor window of a vacant apartment. The fire spread to the roof and crews called for backup.
One woman told abc24.com she woke up to her aunt screaming about a fire; she grabbed her children, including a 3-week-old infant, and ran out of the building.
"Flames, smoke, there's no way to describe it because it was crazy," described apartment resident Karon Anderson. "We had to go to this building, the next building from us, just to get from the fire. And all the smoke was still coming anyway."
According to Chief Henry Posey with the Memphis Fire Department, "It quickly went through the roof and that caused severe problems as far as trying to reach, to raise an aerial ladder on it, between it and the firewall; we were able to contain the fire to one unit and knock it down."
There were no injuries or fatalities from the fire. The cause of the fire was determined to be intentionally set in a vacant apartment. The Red Cross was called in to assist three families displaced by the fire.
As for the man shot dead, the victim has not been identified and that investigation continues.
So far no suspect information is available.