Elderly residents complain of fire hazard in downtown high rise - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Elderly residents complain of fire hazard in downtown high rise

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Roslyn Anderson - bio | email

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - A cooking mishap sent smoke billowing through a downtown Jackson high rise Sunday night, trapping some elderly residents who said they can't take the stairs.

A cooking mishap sent smoke billowing through a downtown Jackson high rise Sunday night, and elderly residents say many were trapped because they can't take the stairs.

Jackson Fire Department officials said they responded to the State Street Senior Residences, formerly Magnolia Towers, when smoke filled the hallways.

According to some residents waiting in the lobby, the elevators had not worked for about two hours.

One woman was sitting in a wheelchair, while another who used a cane leaned on a table until the elevator doors re-opened allowing them to return to their apartments.

We were also told that the smoke alarm sounded for hours, even after firefighters left the building.

Rita Brown said her 70 year old mother Mary Wade, who recently had knee replacement surgery,was stuck inside her fourth floor apartment.

"This has been going on periodically, and I'm just saying that if something really happens, a fire breaks out, it's no way she can come down four flights of stairs. Not only that what about the people on the 10th and 11th floors," said Brown.

Fifty nine year old Hugh Jones who lives in the building said he is concerned that they were not able to find anyone in management to help.

"They don't have wheelchair ramps. So if there was a true emergency we don't know if the fire department came in how many would be lost just to smoke inhalation or fire," said Jones.

Jones also said the facility, which used to cater to senior citizens, is now allowing younger renters who are frightening some of the older residents.

A maintenance man in the building would not comment.

Residents said a property manager has an apartment on site, but they were unable to locate her.

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