A group of men are being hailed as heroes after saving their neighbors' lives on Tuesday.
The men helped rescue a family at a Madison apartment complex after a fire trapped them on their balcony.
The family ran out onto the balcony because smoke had filled the apartment, and they had nowhere to go.
The group of men appeared, climbed up and carried the family to safety.
As firefighters rushed to put out a kitchen fire in the apartment, Kody Greenfield struggled to get his family out of his home safely.
"She was scared because I was like I can't breathe, I can't see," said Greenfield. "I had to go running back and get my dad. By the time I got back, the smoke was too thick."
Smoke from the fire filled the entire apartment building, even though Greenfield's unit was on the other end.
He and his dad soon found themselves trapped, blinded by black smoke. With nowhere to go, they ran out on the second floor balcony.
"Everybody was just doing what they could do," said Michael Holderige. "Nobody could go inside because the hallways were full of smoke."
Holderige and five neighbors decided to climb up to Greenfield and his dad.
"We had to climb up kind of like ants, two people on the bottom, two people in the middle, two on the top to get the animals," said Holderige.
Together they carried down the men and two dogs.
"He actually climbed up there and I'm glad he did because I couldn't have done it myself," said Greenfield. "He was a true life-saver."
A family of six lost their apartment to the fire, but because of the community effort, everyone escaped.
"As bad as it is on Christmas Eve, we're just glad everybody made it out alive," said Holderige.
The fire started with a grease fire in one of the units at Falcon View Apartments.
A family, including a mom, grandmother and four kids, the oldest was 11, lost their home and all of their Christmas presents. They were able to run from their apartment when the fire got out of control.
Some neighbors donated presents to the family.
This was one of several fires in Middle Tennessee in the past 24 hours.
On Lancelot Road, a family safely escaped a fire in their home. Smoke was found in the attic of the home, and it was determined that it was caused by an electrical issue. The home has some smoke and water damage, but it's still livable.
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Tuesday, December 24 2013 6:53 PM EST2013-12-24 23:53:00 GMT
House fires, especially ones that start in the kitchen, are more likely to happen during the holidays. The state fire marshal is urging people to stay alert to keep fires from starting. Fire experts said: Don'tMore >>
House fires, especially ones that start in the kitchen, are more likely to happen during the holidays. The state fire marshal is urging people to stay alert to keep fires from starting.More >>