Tertiary Pruitt II denies that he’s a hero, but a woman he carried to safety during an apartment fire Friday begs to differ.
The fire broke out around 7 a.m. at the Terra Creek Apartments on Central Drive near Stone Mountain.
Resident Demetrice Little told the AJC that she was asleep in her apartment with her twin 6-year-old grandsons and a niece, and someone began banging on her door.
Pruitt, of Atlanta, who was visiting his girlfriend in another unit, went into Little’s apartment and carried her out, she said.
“I was the last one to get out, and I passed out when I got out, I guess from the smoke inhalation,” Little said.
“The guy saved me,” she said. “He carried me out.”
“I ran over and knocked on everybody’s doors,” said Pruitt, an Army veteran. “[Little] was just up there coughing, so I crawled in and grabbed her and came back out, then I went back in and made sure there weren’t any other kids or children around.”
Pruitt said he had no problem carrying Little out of her second-floor apartment and down the stairs.
“She was light,” he said. “She was coughing heavy and needed to get some fresh air.”
Pruitt was quick to downplay his heroics, saying he just put his military training to use.
“I ain’t no hero, I’ll tell you that now,” he told the AJC. “Anybody could have run up there and made sure everybody was all right.”
“God blessed him with the strength and mentality that he had,” said Pruitt’s girlfriend, Christina McClure.
Assistant DeKalb Fire Chief Garret Smith said his first crews on the scene found heavy smoke and fire through the roof of the two-story building.
One firefighter was transported to the hospital after apparently becoming overheated, and is expected to be okay, Smith said.
He said eight units were damaged, displacing between 12 and 16 people.
While the cause of the fire is still under investigation, Smith said, “we don’t suspect anything suspicious.”
Resident Derrick Glover escaped with his family in just his pajamas.
“I had just got off work at 3, and about four hours later, I heard a banging on my door, ‘it’s a fire, it’s a fire,’” Glover said.
“Knowing that our kids were in the back room, that was our first instinct, to get the kids out,” he said. “We pretty much lost everything.”
Members of the Southern Baptist Convention’s disaster relief organization began making plans Tuesday at the group’s North American Mission Board office in Alpharetta to send volunteers and supplies to areas of Oklahoma hit hard by Monday’s devastating tornadoes.