|Chris, Whitney, Avery and Me. |
Once it was safe to go back in Chris went. He was walked through the apartment with one of the firefighters and was told what happened during the fire. Also what was safe and not safe to save. Anything plastic, not safe. Baby food that boiled while still in it's jars, not safe. Clothes, safe but we couldn't just put it in a regular washer and dryer. We had to have it professionally cleaned. Sealed wood furniture safe but that also would have to be professionally cleaned. Chris was then told that one of the cats had died in the fire, it was Tigger. Chris got him as a kitten in 1996. We were told that one cat ran out of the front door when they opened it and while they were still fighting the fire they had brought me Princess, Whitney's cat. We didn't know where Cleo was but for a few days after the fire I had thought that she was the cat that had ran out of the front door. It wasn't until we went back in to save somethings that Chris and another neighbor found her under my bed. She had also died in the fire. Ms. Cleo was my kitty.
So what was saved?
Princess the cat and not much after that. We got a few pieces of furniture in each room, clothes and everything downstairs in the front closet and garage.
AND the most important myself.
Chris and I were in a good place with our relationship but we had started making compromises with ourselves. We told ourselves that we wouldn't get new furniture until we bought a house but shortly before Avery was born we bought a new living room set. Then less than a month before the fire we got a new bed for ourselves. I knew the place we were at was to small for us but it was going to take a lot to get me out of there. Well maybe only a fire...
The place we are now is another apartment but we are paying less rent so in about a year we will be able to get a house. I was forced to deal with a lot of problems with living here also. The people across the hall and above us smoke and that's what started the fire. So I was faced with my fear of thinking another fire was going to happen. About a year ago my doctor told me that I have PTSD, post traumatic stress disorder. I had heard of it before, so I told him that I wasn't in the military that I couldn't have that. He told me that what I had just told him was PTSD and that I needed to talk to someone about my flash backs and fears of another fire happening. Chris and my relationship at this point had been in a rough spot. We had been fighting a lot and I had thoughts of killing myself. We started going to church and with talking to someone, I have really gotten my life on a better path. I do take happy pills and I think that I will be on them for a while.
I look at this fire happening as a blessing now. I have a better life, we go to church, Chris and I talk more, I can handle a lot more and I have great friends.
|From my front door looking up into the apartment. To the right is a closet and out of the picture is the door to the garage.|
|I couldn't get myself to go in right away, so I took pictures of what I couldn't see from the front door.|
|The fire alarm that I pulled, that didn't go off.|
|The view from the top of the stairs. To the left and behind out of the picture is the kitchen and table. You can just see the desk chair. Living room and to the right at the top of the picture you can see light coming in from the balcony door.|
|What the ceiling looked like.|