Feb 13, 2009

The Fire

So Jeremy and I woke up at 3:45 to the sounds of screams outside....I heard a girl screaming and shouting, "I love you! I love you!" and could tell something wasn't right. I jumped out of bed, ripped down the plastic on our bedroom window to see the apartment building kiddie corner from us engulfed in flames. No emergency vehicles were there yet. I called 911 and they said someone was on the way.

I was frantic at first, not knowing what to do. Do we run out there and see if we can help? My first thought was Ethan and do we need to get out of here in case the building exploded or something...Jeremy ran out and found a policeman by this time and asked and he said our building was in no danger.

About 20 minutes later a couple and their little 3 year old boy was standing outside crying and shivering and Jeremy told them to come in. They were on the 2nd floor....the boyfriend woke up and smelled smoke and realized what was going on. He started to scream for his girlfriend and he jumped off the balcony and then had his girlfriend and little boy jump and he caught them. They had smoke on their face and they were hysterical when they first walked in.

We tried calming them down and telling them you're ok, you guys got out you're alive you're ok. They were just devastated, everything they owned was gone and they don't have insurance. She came in with a shirt on, no pants, socks or shoes. I quickly got her some pants and socks and gave her a pair of tennis shoes (we are the same size, yea God!) and Jer got the guy a sweatshirt and such. They were here for about an hour and then got picked up by his parents. People were in an out of our apt, we just told whoever to come in and get warm, get clothes, whatever.

Of course in the meantime Jeremy and I are just praying...I was convinced that there had to be some people that were trapped and burned to death by the looks of the fire. The stairwell was completely in flames, no way for anyone to go up or down.

Another guy named Eli came walking in and he told us his story. He was on the 1st floor...heard some noise and such and thought it was some young kids partying, getting home from the club. He said no smoke alarm or anything was going off in his apt. He was going to just go back to bed but decided to go out there to yell at them and when he opened his door the fire was RIGHT next to him and he said the apt. next to him was completely gone...he said if it wasn't for those screams that he very likely may have died. He was in good spirits though....even though he lost everything in his apt.

Jeremy was outside a lot talking to people and he ran into this poor guy that was so upset and didn't want anyone to talk to him because he doesn't know if his cat got out or not. It was so sad :( He didn't want Jer to talk to him....later we saw him and Jer comforted him but we don't think his cat got out but we don't know.

Jeremy took a video on my camera of the fire but we aren't sure if it's ok to publicize it just yet so I'll post it when we can. The Red Cross is here talking with the families, brought food, etc. for people.

I saw one of the girls that works here....asked her if she knew if anyone was in there and she said from what they knew everyone got out...Praise God! I know one guy is in the hospital as he had to jump from the balcony also, he was on the 3rd floor. As of right now I don't know of any deaths and am praying that is the case.

We don't know anything yet....how it started and such...but it seemed it happened rather quickly, don't think it was a cigarette or anything. There are plenty of people we talked too that said their smoke alarms never went off....there is going to be a major lawsuit coming I'm sure.

Anyhow, please pray for these families...I know a lot of them are left with nothing, especially the family that came in to our place they don't even have insurance....we told them come back anytime if they need anything, and maybe there's more some of us can do in the community or within our church family....get them some clothes, food, gift cards, I don't know. The little boy is almost 3 and his name is Gabriel, super cute...we put the disney channel on for him and he was ok....he kept saying, "Fire hot fire hot".

Pray for Jer too....he just started throwing up and I know it's because of the anxiety from all of this.

Love you guys,

1 comment:

~jen~ said...

Keri ~ I know you don't know me...we've never met. LOL I've seen you "around" on other people's blogs/facebook (when I was on it). Anyway...my MIL told me about "an apartment fire in Fenton where people were jumping from their balconies" this morning. I immediately thought of you. I remember someone telling me you guys lived in apartments in Fenton...and then I remember kinda "where". I google'd and finally found a new clip about this and realized it was right where you lived!!

I am so "relieved" you blogged about this...because I had no other way of really knowing if you guys were okay. Reading your blog just broke me up. Fire is one of my biggest fears...and to read about it happening to people just reaches into my core and chokes me up.

I would love to help in anyway I can...if you think of something, please let me know. I have no other connections to this apartment complex (that I know of). You can email me at jenlinville@charter.net .

I'm so glad to hear you guys are okay and that you were there to help these people who needed comforting. What an opportunity to witness for God!!!

And if you don't have renter's insurance, please get it. ((hugs))
jen ripke