HERMITAGE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Nearly a dozen families are without a home after a fire destroyed a Hermitage apartment complex this weekend.
First responders spent hours on Saturday battling the two-alarm blaze. When crews arrived at Building 400 of Avalon Apartments on Andrew Jackson Way, which contained 20 units, they reportedly found heavy smoke and flames spreading quickly.
One family was forced to jump from a third-story window to save themselves. Now, they’re thankful to be alive.
“Had it been five or 10 more minutes, it would’ve been too late; it would have been terrible. We lost, we lost a lot,” said Jeremie Bond.
Bond described the moment he was faced with a life-or-death decision once the fire alarms started going off at the apartments.
“I opened up the door and had seen a lot of smoke. I told my mom and my girlfriend to grab their things and what they could. We gathered back at the door. I tried to open up the door again, and it was pretty much right there in our faces, the fire, the smoke, everything. We couldn’t see outside the door, so I told them to get as far away from the fire as possible and go to the back room. And then the back room from that point on, I was just trying to search for a way down because we couldn’t use the stairs anymore,” Bond said.
Bond was trapped inside his apartment with his mom, Sheena, and his girlfriend, with no other way out but the window.
“Once we saw the smoke coming through the closet, we knew we were really boxed in and trapped. There was no other choice but to go out the window, or else we would have died. My last thought was either I’m going to break something, or I’m going to burn. I was like, I rather break something, and after that, it was out the window,” Bond said.
That’s when Bond made a quick decision to throw mattresses down on the ground so that he could save himself, his mom, and his girlfriend by jumping out the third-story window.
However, Sheena didn’t hit the mattresses. Instead, she landed on bushes, injuring herself on the way down.
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Sheena was taken to TriStar Summit Medical Center, where she’s still being treated.
“My mom is still hospitalized. She sprained both of her ankles and fractured her knee. It’s been two nights now they’ve been keeping her, and we’re not sure if they’re going to keep her another night, but it’s looking like that. We’re hoping and praying we don’t have to go through surgery or anything of that. We don’t want it to be that serious, but it’s looking like a possibility. It’s bad. She got hurt pretty bad,” Bond said
Now, Bond doesn’t know where he will be sleeping tonight. Bond said both he and his mom are originally from Illinois, and they don’t have any family or friends here that they can actually turn to in this time of need.
“Me and my mom are both out of work now. I don’t have anything to go to work with, and she’s unable to work, so it’s just a hard time right now. We lost everything. I got out with a pair of shorts and a T-shirt, and that was pretty much it. All our electronics, all our medical equipment, the money we’ve been saving, everything we’ve been working for is gone,” Bond said.
Sheena created a GoFundMe to help support their family since they’ve lost everything. If you’d like to donate, click here.