Quick actions of 2 men are why residents say they survived fire

Quick actions of 2 men are why residents say they survived fire
Photo Source: Chaunte' Turner
Photo Source: Chaunte' Turner
Photo Source: Cory Kennedy
Photo Source: Cory Kennedy

SUMMERVILLE, SC (WCSC) - An early morning blaze ripped through a Summerville Apartment Monday morning, destroyed the building and left residents thankful for the quick actions of two men.

Tad Steadman and Mike Hassan were out working on their vehicle in the parking lot of Westbury Mews Apartment around 12:30 a.m.

That's when they saw a small blaze quickly escalate into flames shooting from building's roof. Then, they took action.

"I was like that doesn't look right. So I walked over and I saw furniture on fire and stuff and I immediately turned around, looked at Mike and said, 'get the fire department on the phone,'" said Tad Steadman. "He got the fire department and as soon as he started dialing, I started running into the building and knocking on the doors."

Once Mike Hassan called 9-1-1, he followed his friend into the burning building.

"We started on the third floor, worked our way down and then went back up and just checked and rechecked to make sure we could get everybody out as fast was we could," said Hassan.

The two were successful in their heroic acts. Later, residents, like Pele Lee, made their gratitude known, recalling their first alert.

"We thought it was a joke at first. So, my kids finally came running into the room. They was like, 'dad, mom, they say it's a fire,'" said Lee. "So we all got up so everybody I the building was running around trying to get everything they could out."

Summerville Fire Department Chief Robert Waring said the two showed remarkable bravery.

"Their quick actions and early notifications really saved some lives," said Chief Waring.

Officials say it took 44 firefighters, from Summerville Fire Department, Pine Ridge Fire Department and Old Fort Fire Department, about an hour to put out the blaze.

No serious injuries were reported. Officials say 23 people were displaced from their homes, 17 adults and 6 children.

American Red Cross was at the scene assisting those in need. If you'd like to help in the efforts, call 843-764-2323

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