Eight-month-old dies, five other children injured as fire breaks out in apartment while mothers are out partying
An eight-month-old baby was killed and five small children were injured after a fire broke out at an apartment complex in Nashville in the early hours of Sunday, July 7 while their mothers were out partying.
Medic units and firefighters from the Nashville Fire Department responded to the Hickory Lake Apartments at 3940 Apache Trail just after 2 am on Sunday on reports of an apartment fire, according to a press release by the Metro Government of Nashville & Davidson County.
The first unit that arrived at the scene found heavy smoke and flames coming from one of the apartment units, with dispatch informing arriving personnel that several people were still trapped inside.
Firefighters rescued one person from a third-floor balcony, following which bystanders informed them that there were still several children trapped inside—witnesses said a six-year-old boy reportedly ran out of the apartment and screamed that his siblings were still stuck inside the burning building.
The firefighters immediately ran into the unit and searched for the children and successfully rescued four of them.
Unfortunately, an eight-month-old baby did not survive the blaze and was pronounced dead on the scene.
NFD medics transported the four children to Vanderbilt’s Children’s Hospital for treatment.
They later found another five-year-old child who was also taken to Vanderbilt's.
Police have identified the eight-month-old killed in the fire as Jream Jenkins and said that her brother, a two-year-old, was one of the children in the hospital and that he was in critical condition.
The other four children, between one and six-years-old, are all siblings from Linden, a town which is an hour-and-a-half drive from Nashville. Their conditions were unclear.
Police said the injured children's mothers, aged 23 and 25, were friends and had gone out partying the night of the blaze. They said the pair only came back after the NFD and police had already responded to the scene.
Metro Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron said officers were unable to substantiate a claim that a babysitter was present with the children and that a babysitter was not present at the home when firefighters went to rescue the children.
The American Red Cross responded to the scene and is working with impacted residents who may be in need of temporary housing and other resources.
Firefighters were able to contain the fire to one apartment, though apartments in one area of the complex did sustain smoke damage.
NFD arson investigators are looking to what sparked the early morning fire and have said any updates regarding their investigation will be released when available.
The Tennessee Department of Children's Services was also alerted and is investigating the incident.