‘Someone was screaming, ‘Help me! Help me!’: Group of concertgoers credited with rushing to help save lives at Mississippi apartment complex blaze

Published 5:37 am Tuesday, February 28, 2023

A group of young people gathered for a late Saturday concert who rushed to help assist at a nearby apartment complex fire were credited for helping save lives.

After the Krewe of Ceres conducted its annual Charity Ball Saturday at the Lincoln Center in Brookhaven, many of the celebrants went to Recess 101 to continue the party.

When the area band The Lincoln Outfit wrapped up their set just before midnight, someone came into the building and asked for help.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

“I heard him saying, ‘Fire,’ and everyone started running outside,” said Susan Dunaway, who had come to hear her son Cody play in the band.

She asked the man what was going on and he told her the apartments out back were on fire.

“When I stepped outside the back door, it was the most intense heat I have ever felt in my life,” Dunaway said. “It was a bizarre scene.”

The flames were higher than she’d ever witnessed in a fire, she said of the “absolutely horrible, devastating” blaze.

“I saw an aluminum light pole melt and fall over. Parts of the roof fell and crashed in and there were little explosions and popping.”

Before the fire department could even arrive, Dunaway said band members and concert-goers alike were running to help as many people as they could. People kicked open every door and broke every window they could in their efforts to help.

One volunteer’s shirt caught on fire when he was helping someone get out.

“Someone was screaming, ‘Help me! Help me!’ I asked the man whose shirt had caught fire, ‘Did y’all get that man out?’ He said, ‘Yes, ma’am.’”

They did everything they could to try to help people, Dunaway said of the volunteers who rushed over.

“These young people did not hesitate. It did my heart good,” she said. “If not for those people, a lot more than two people would have died.”