Memphis woman in critical condition after early morning apartment fire

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — An elderly woman was pulled from her burning apartment, early Sunday morning in Binghampton.  One neighbor said he has plenty of questions that have not been answered, including what sparked the flames? And if crews could have responded sooner?

Yellow caution tape, a charred kitchen chair, and the entrance to the Binghampton apartments covered in soot were all reminders of what happened early Sunday.

"We live in this apartment right here, number one," Henry Yarbrough said.

It's where Yarbrough has lived since September.  The quadplex along Waynoka Avenue, close to Tillman Street is also where a family of two--to include an elderly woman live downstairs.

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Up and to the left is home to one man, and to the right where a child's toy could still be seen--a single mother lived with her two children.

Yarbrough said a smoke alarm started blaring upstairs.  The mother of two, ran down to alert her neighbors.  The majority were able to get out unharmed, but the elderly woman downstairs was trapped.

Yarbrough said he was scrabbling to escape with his grandchildren, who stayed the night. At the time, no one knew his downstairs neighbor never made it out, until the woman who shares the unit returned home.

"She came back and started yelling her grandmother was in the house," Yarbrough said.  "But by that time, the flames had gotten so big no one could get in the door.  The door was closed but the smoke got in there and I guess rendered her unconscious."

The victim was rushed to the hospital.  Fire investigators said the elderly woman's condition was dire after inhaling smoke.

Yarbrough said all morning, he's been replaying exactly what happened.  And he's now questioning if things could have ended differently.

"The fire was going on for at least 45 minutes," Yarbrough recalled.  "They could have probably saved the lady because she laid in there and inhaled that smoke for way too long."

Neighbors told FOX13, the Red Cross is helping those unable to return to their homes.