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MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Peppertree apartment fire caused by electrical equipment malfunction, says MFD

The Memphis Fire Department (MFD) is at the scene of a fire at a local apartment complex, MFD said.

PHOTOS: Fire at Peppertree Apartments, heavy smoke visible in area

Officials say MFD responded to the 4200 block of Graceland Drive at the Peppertree Apartment Rental Office for a fire.

When FOX13 crews arrived, they saw heavy smoke coming from inside the apartment complex.

“Our first concern was to make sure this wouldn’t affect any of our children, no one is out of place,” Hillcrest Secondary School principal Teddrick Estes said. “I’m not going to say I was glad it was the rental office, but I’m glad it wasn’t an actual apartment.”

Hillcrest High School is across the street from the complex.

“I’ve been here for seven years and we rarely have anything happening here that affects us directly. But, a lot of things going on there concern us because it’s so close to the school, so we would like it cleaned up. We’re hearing a lot of people say it’s a public nuisance and it’s closed, and my concern about that is also to make sure people who are away from it have a place to stay,” Estes said.

Officials said the fire was brought under control just before 6:30 a.m.

No civilians or firefighters were injured.

“If it’s not one thing, it’s another. First, it’s something else, then that’s it. Lord, I’m sick of it. It’s frustrating and then it’s sad because I live alone and have nowhere to go,” tenant Connie Huddleston said. “This is my home. Families with kids are scared. I’m just worried. I’ve had four people say to me ‘you have to move, I’m scared for your life, I’m this, I’m am that’, ok, well I have to do what I have to do. Where can I go?”

According to MFD, the fire started in the attic due to malfunctioning electrical equipment and there was approximately $100,000 in damage.

Even if no house was affected by the fire, it is still a loss for the community.

Red Door Ministries operated from the rental office. The ministry provides comprehensive services to local children, including food and tutoring.

“Our good friend, Pastor Eric Watkins, leads Red Door Ministries, which operates out of the rental office, so we wanted to make sure he was ok and all was well. He provides full service to these students. Estes said, “After-school care, which we do too, but he feeds these kids, tutors them, and a myriad of other things the kids really need.”

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