Kim Clay heard the fire trucks go by her West Ashley home as she slept Friday morning.
She thought for a second that she was dreaming, but the relentless shrill of the sirens suggested otherwise.
Clay’s cellphone rang moments later, and the call sent her rushing out the door. The apartment complex where her 24-year-old daughter and 5-year-old grandson live was on fire.
A blaze ripped through a two-story building at the Moss Creek Apartments, 1800 William Kennerty Drive, destroying 16 units shortly before 7 a.m.
The complex sits off S.C. Highway 61, tucked away beside West Ashley Middle School. The school remained in session throughout the ordeal.
Clay’s daughter and grandson were living on the second floor of the ruined building. To her relief, she arrived to find them unharmed.
“My grandson ran up to me yelling, ‘Granny, I stopped, dropped and rolled. I stopped, dropped and rolled. I promise I did,’ ” Clay said, pausing to wipe the tears building in her eyes.
“He just learned how to do that in school a couple days ago.”
Clay soon got another shock when she learned that her 22-year-old son, Kameron, had spent the night at his sister’s apartment and was there when the blaze started.
Kameron Clay found himself trapped by the flames and likely broke his ankle when he jumped out of a window and fell two floors to the ground, Clay said.
Her son was the only person taken for treatment by paramedics.
Two other people were treated at the scene, one for smoke inhalation and the other for a cut to a finger, Charleston police Cpl. Fred Bowie said. No one was seriously injured.
“We were very fortunate in that regard,” Bowie said as firefighters tended to the building’s last remaining hot spots.
Crews with Charleston, North Charleston and St. Andrews fire departments extinguished the blaze. American Red Cross volunteers provided emergency supplies and monetary support for 32 people who were affected by the fire, including nine children, according to a news release.
Three adults and one child also received temporary housing, the release said.
What caused the flames to ignite remained unknown Friday, Bowie said.
Reach Christina Elmore at 937-5908 or at Twitter.com/celmorePC