THOMASVILLE, N.C. -- Scotty Adkins said letting his son go from his grip nearly 20 feet high was the hardest decision he's ever had to make.
Adkins said he usually awakes at 9 a.m. but his wife woke him up a few hours earlier saying the apartment was on fire.
"I opened up my first door and it was nothing but fire from up here to the floor so there wasn't any escaping [through] that door. I went to a second door and it was the same way. We were trapped and didn't have any other option,” Adkins said.
Adkins lives on the second floor of The Oaks Apartments, formally Thomasville Hospital, on Pine Street. Approximately 50 firefighters between the Thomasville, Fairgrove and Hasty Fire responded to the apartment building shortly after 6 a.m.
"I had a split second thought maybe we could sit right here and wait for the fire department to come. But it's starting to get hot and I know with that much fire on the other side of the door -- those doors were wooden," Adkins said.
Adkins said his 6-year-old son Ayden was caught by a neighbor and then he jumped; his wife followed.
His wife was sent to Thomasville Medical Center for what she though was a broken leg.
No one else was injured in the escape to safety. Approximately 100 people were displaced.
The Red Cross launched a shelter at Rich Fork Baptist Church to help 30 residents without a place to stay Tuesday night.
Adkins is originally from West Virginia and said the only family he has close by are the neighbors that live with him in The Oaks Apartments.
Fire Chief Martin Dailey said the cause is still under investigation.