East Texans thankful to be alive after fire - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

East Texans thankful to be alive after fire

TYLER, TX (KLTV) -

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The Red Cross is helping eight families who lost their homes in an apartment fire that took place Wednesday night.

Some of those families say that despite their losses, they are grateful they made it out of the fire alive.

"'Fire, ma'am, it's a fire,' [they told me,] so I opened the door and they said, 'You got to get out! Get out now!'" said Darcel Veal Thompson.

Firefighters held Thompson back as flames ripped through her home. She says moments after she escaped, the apartment above her began to crumble.

"To watch your place go down and there's not much you can do," said Thompson. "It's not something to watch."

As Thompson watched her home for the last year burn to the ground, she and other residents wondered what, if anything, could be saved.

"I just sat down on the curb," said Ashley Roberts. "There's not really anything you can do. It's the worst feeling in the world."

Roberts says she sat numb.

"I'm just in shock," she said. "I can't explain it."

As flames shot through the roof of her apartment building and smoke clouded the night sky.

Her apartment suffered heavy water damage. Roberts and her husband, Tosh, are just beginning a life together. The two married only five months ago.

"All of our wedding stuff...at this point I don't know what's ruined," said Roberts. "We just don't know. Everything we had just purchased or gifts that was given to us, it's all gone."

Despite everything these families lost, they say there is something to be thankful for.

"I lost a lot, but I have my life and that's important," said Thompson.

There has been a fund set up at Austin State Bank. You can donate at any bank location to the Hudson Apartment Fire Fund.

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