Carol King, a neighbor of Jackson’s who had lived in the complex for six years, attested to the veteran’s heroism.
“He didn’t stop until he knew everybody was across that fence,” King said.
According to Channel 2, the apartment complex had sound-proof windows due to its proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, which made it difficult to alert some residents about the fire.
After he was sure that all of the complex’s residents were safe, Jackson was forced to jump from a second-story balcony to save himself.
“Even though I had to jump, I feel good,” Jackson said, “because ain’t nobody going to a funeral.”
Fire investigators have not determined what caused the dual apartment fires, according to Channel 2. The families who accepted Red Cross assistance are staying in a nearby hotel, but their housing aid from the organization will end Friday.