Tyler man describes escaping deadly apartment fire

Published: Jul. 9, 2022 at 6:37 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - A fire destroyed apartment homes in Tyler early Friday morning. One of the residents tells their story of how they escaped.

“This was scary it was terrifying like my life was at risk the other residents their life were at risk,” said Rhett Kenyon.

Five tenants lived in the home, which had been converted into apartments. Around 3:30 a.m. Friday, Kenyon said he was preparing food and went outside to have a cigarette before he heard what he describes as the sound of someone throwing things at the wall.

“When I went back in to prep up my seasoning, prep up my meat, I heard glass breaking. I heard something being thrown at a wall, loud thudding noises,” he said.

Kenyon said he looked outside and noticed a flicker of fire on his neighbor’s front porch and immediately called 911. He was able to walk away alive with minor burns. Two of his neighbors in the apartment next door to him were killed in the fire.

“And by the time I got done with the call I went outside and the flames… they were everywhere,” said Kenyon.

“After that, he says he ran around to the back of the complex to alert his neighbors of the fire and went back into his apartment to save his dog,” Kenyon said. “My dog, I tried to hitch him out back to a tree but he got out of his collar and he ran away.”

Tyler Animal Services helped Kenyon find his dog. With the building on fire, he said he went back into his home again to try and save his cat.

“There was a heat blast so I couldn’t get to my cat,” Kenyon said.

That’s when he got his burns and injuries.

“I’m thankful that I got some people out and the people that didn’t make it like when I saw them being taken out seeing that it hits you it hits you different feeling than watching it in a movie,” said Kenyon.

The identities of the two victims of the fire have not yet been released.

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