• Smoke detector not working when 2 infants trapped by apartment fire in Covington, family says

    By: Tony Atkins

    Updated:

    COVINGTON, Tenn. - A Tipton County family is asking tough questions days after an apartment fire nearly killed two infants. 

    Two girls – 8- and 21-month-old babies – were released from the hospital shortly after neighbors and emergency responders rescued them from a fire.

    ORIGINAL STORY: Neighbors, first responders use bat, car to rescue 2 infants from burning apartment in Covington

    The incident happened on May 17 around 3:15 p.m. at the Broadmeadow Place Apartments in Covington. 

    After the fire broke out inside the apartment, community residents quickly stepped in with emergency responders to rescue the babies. Fire officials said the efforts of everyone involved was to thank.


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    One woman provided a baseball bat, so they could bust the window open to the apartment. One man used his own car to scale the second-story window and climb inside to get to the infants.

    Several witnesses told FOX13 it took the effort of multiple community members in addition to officers to get the children out.

    We spoke with one of the men who climbed on top of the car to get inside the structure and get the babies out.

    Both the infants and police officers – who also helped rescue the children – were taken to hospitals. They were all released. 

    Now, the family of four is back together after the fire left 21-month-old Layla Brent and 8-month-old Makayla Brent trapped inside.

    “I laid down and woke up, and all I saw was a house full of smoke,” said Lawrence Brent, the girls’ father.

    Brent said he ran outside to get help putting the fire out.

    "My first instinct was to run out to the fire extinguisher and put out the carpet because if it made it to the carpet, everybody would've been in danger," said Brent.

    Octavia White, the girls’ mother, has questions about the fire because her husband said he didn’t hear a smoke detector inside the apartment unit when it caught fire.

    “They have people in the fire department report that our smoke detectors went off, but they didn’t,” said White.

    White said she was never given another unit to move into after the fire. So, FOX13 went to the complex to ask about the family’s status and about the last check of their smoke detector.

    Management refused to comment, citing the ongoing fire investigation.

    According to the HUD, the apartment complex got a 95 score in 2014. It houses 142 units.

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