‘We can't get out': 911 call from Memphis fire that killed 9 released

MEMPHIS - The city of Memphis released the 911 call made Monday from the fatal house fire in South Memphis where 9 people, including 6 children and three adults died.

The call was made by Carol Collier, a family friend, from the back bedroom of the home.

In the call made at 1:21 a.m., you can hear her gasping for breath through the smoke as she tells the dispatcher that they are trapped in the burning home.

"We need the fire department! Fire department fast! We burning up in here!" Collier tells the dispatcher.

The dispatcher asks Collier to tell her what is happening.

"Help me! I don't know. It's burning up! The house burning up! I'm in the back room!" she says.

The dispatcher then asks if they can get out of the house.

"We can't get out! I can't get out," Collier says.

When asked by the dispatcher if the doors are locked, Collier gasping and coughing says, "Yes!"

"Lord, I can't get out. I can't get out!" she tells the dispatcher.

Collier tells the dispatcher that the house is "full of smoke" and "I can't breathe."

By the end of the recording, she is no longer able to talk and answer the dispatcher questions. She can be heard gasping for each breath and coughing.

The fire department's first company was on the scene in 6 minutes and 15 seconds, the fire department said. The fire was caused by an electrical malfunction in the air-conditioner cord.

Collier, 56; Eloise Futrell, 61; Lakesha Ward, 27; Angel Mitchell, 17; Alonzo Ward, 6; Ernest Jett III, 9; Diamond Jett, 8; Kierra Jett, 5; Precious Rose Jett, 2 or 3, all died after they were pulled from the home.

Cameron Hollingsworth, 10, remained on life support at Le Bonheur Children's hospital. His organs will be donated, and he will be allowed to pass away after the organs are taken, his father told The Commercial Appeal earlier this week.

Funeral arrangements were incomplete Friday.

An account has been established at First Tennessee Bank in the family's name to help pay for funeral services and other expenses. To donate, contact First Tennessee Bank.

The Memphis Commercial Appeal


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