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911 tapes tell dramatic story of Whitley fire victim's call for help

Several people called 911 when a fire broke out Monday afternoon at Buhl Apartmennts on N. 6th Street in Williamsburg.

"Our apartment is on fire, I'm stuck upstairs!" a caller is heard screaming in the 911 recording released Tuesday.

Others called for help when they noticed 3 people who were stuck upstairs. But one victim seemed just as concerned about her pets, referring to them as her "babies," as her own life.

"I can't get my dogs! Oh God!" the woman is heard yelling.

The dispatcher then told her to worry about '"getting out" instead of her dogs, saying "honey, that's what the fire department is for."

Everyone was rescued, and one was sent to a local hospital. However, one of the top floor residents, Linda Bock, was airlifted to the University of Tennessee Hospital before being transferred to the burn unit at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville. She's in critical condition.

Timothy Kersey, who lost everything in his basement apartment, saw firefighters rescue Bock.

"I saw firefighters bring her down headfirst on the ladder. Smoke was coming off her. She was in flames, " he said.

5 families lost everything in the fire and we're told the Red Cross is assisting them.

The cause is suspicious, with state police assigning both a detective and an arson investigator to the case. Officials say a mattress in a downstairs hallway could have been ignited to start the fire.


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