Off-duty Miss. fire lieutenant gears up to help fight blaze at his own home

Jackson Fire Lt. Solomon Forbes' apartment was destroyed in the blaze, but he was able to safely evacuate his family and neighbors

By Laura French

JACKSON, Miss. — An off-duty Mississippi fire lieutenant evacuated his family and neighbors and then geared up to join his fellow firefighters after a blaze broke out at his apartment building last week. 

Jackson Fire Department Lt. Solomon Forbes was with two of his children in his apartment when someone alerted him that the apartment neighboring his was on fire, according to the Associated Press. After making sure everyone was out of the building, Forbes retrieved his turnout gear and a fire extinguisher, and tried to begin quelling the flames but had to exit the building due to the intense heat.

When fellow Jackson firefighters arrived, Forbes aided them in extinguishing the blaze. Forbes' apartment, where he lives with his wife and three children, was ultimately destroyed in the fire, but no injuries were reported. The local fire union is now collecting donations of money, clothes and other items to assist the family, including a GoFundMe fundraiser.

"Even when the apartment was burning, he was risking his life to help get people out of the building," union President RaSean Thomas told WLBT-TV. "... He came out of the apartment, saw the building on fire and put on his turnouts. That is the title of a real hero."

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