College Park man hailed as hero after assisting neighbors during fire

Micheal Jackson said that his military training kicked in when his College Park apartment complex caught on fire, leading him to alert and save several neighbors.
Micheal Jackson said that his military training kicked in when his College Park apartment complex caught on fire, leading him to alert and save several neighbors.

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A military veteran from College Park is being called a hero by neighbors after helping several families to safety during an apartment fire.

“The military taught me — don’t leave nobody behind,” Micheal Jackson told Channel 2 Action News. “And I wasn’t going to leave anybody in that building.”

Sunday’s fire was the second within a 24-hour period at the Harvard Avenue Apartments in College Park, Channel 2 reported. Firefighters responded earlier to a blaze in a downstairs unit and had left after they believed it was completely extinguished. But a second fire later engulfed the entire two-story complex.

Micheal Jackson sprung into action to save several of his neighbors at the Harvard Avenue Apartments.
Micheal Jackson sprung into action to save several of his neighbors at the Harvard Avenue Apartments.

Credit: American Red Cross of Georgia

Credit: American Red Cross of Georgia

Seven families and a total of 16 people were displaced from their homes, Red Cross of Georgia spokeswoman Sherry Nicholson said.

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.

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