Eddie Rankin the man who went back into a burning apartment in Vicksburg to save his family who had already escaped, has died from his injuries suffered in that fire. He died Monday morning at 1:17 am at CMMC in Jackson.
The blaze swept through Rankin's apartment on Fisher Ferry Road early on October 22. Despite the fire raging in his home, Eddie He ran through the flames blocking his front door fearing his family was inside asleep.
"He rushed in. He jumped about four steps to get in there and she came around the side, and he didn't she got out," said Rankin's neighbor Kiara Wilson.
The 22 year old was seeing her husband off to work when she saw fire coming from Rankin's window across from her apartment. Wilson looked on in horror as the 31 year old ran into his burning Azalea Trace Apartment attempting to save his wife and two children.
Around 4:30 Tuesday morning investigators said Rankin was doing minor repairs to his car before heading to his job when he saw smoke coming from his upstairs apartment. Inside unit B-35 were his 23 year old wife Brittany and children, ages two and five.
When firefighters arrived they eventually found Rankin unconscious in a rear bedroom.
"They went in twice and came back out without him, added Wilson. "They even took off their masks and everything like the job was over and then went back in one last time and they finally got him. And he was still alive after all of that. That was God."
Warren County Sheriff's Deputies were first on the scene.
"They exhausted all the fire extinguishers that they had in their patrol cars and were able to obtain a garden hose from a nearby Knights of Columbus building, but were unable to enter the apartment because of the heat, smoke and flames," said Sheriff Martin Pace.
Investigators said the two year old was injured and is being treated at River Region Medical Center. Officials said the fire started in the living room. It was contained to that one unit and has been ruled accidental.
According to Azalea Trace Apartment residents, this is the second fire since 2011 in building B. Tuesday they said management began distributing fire extinguishers for each apartment.
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