Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Okay, here's the story. . .

April 17, 2006

We were able to go back to our apartment today to salvage what we could after the fire. I was so worried about going in there because I knew that this strong exterior I had created for myself would start to crack at the sight of the ruins that was once, not only my home, but my life. Not only that but I wasn't sure what they had done with Dori after the fire and I was so worried about walking in and seeing her. Something I didn't want to deal with. Luckily, we were stopped by the fire chief when we got there and he let us know that they had put Dori in a couple bags and placed her right inside the front door for us so that we could do what we wanted with her. He was very sweet and understanding. That put me at ease enough to be able to enter the apartment and take in what was in front of me. Everything was a wreck. The things we had worked so hard for were gone. Either completly soaked with water, covered in soot and ash, or left with such a strong smell of smoke that it was like being in the barbeque pit at Sonny's. And to think that the guy at Red Cross had told us that all we would need is a bottle of Febreeze and a laundry mat. What an idiot, ten gallons of Febreeze wouldn't have helped. Even if it got rid of the awful smell in everything there would still be the factor of mold which was already forming on everything.

There were a few things we did save though. We were able to save our pictures. They were tucked away in my desk, in an air tight container, safe and sound. We were also hoping to be able to save our Christmas sutff and hopefully a few of the boys' toys but weren't so lucky in that respect. A couple fires had broken out later in the evening (around 10:30 p.m.) in our apartment. One in the office closet, where our Christmas stuff was being stored; another in the boys' closet, where their toys were; and another one somewhere else that I have since forgotten. So, when we arrived at the apartment this morning to rescue what we could we found all of our Christmas stuff tossed out onto the lawn in front of the building from the firefighters trying to get to the closet to put out the late night fire. Then when we entered the boys room we found their room completely ransacked from them trying to get to their closet to put out that fire. So, I think it's safe to say that everything the boys had is gone. I was able to save the kids' first Christmas ornaments however. I made sure when I bought them that none of them were breakable "Just in case". Good thing I did. As for the rest of our ornaments. . . I'll just say that there were a few I didn't like anyway.

Something quite interesting did come out of the trip over there. While we were there we were networking with our neighbors and trying to find out what exactly had happened, here's what we found out. . .

We have neighbors that were on their way to being evicted. In fact, the sherrif's department was due to come out the very next day and put their belongings on the street. The wife, Jeannie, had been talking to neighbors the day before about how she had no idea what they were going to do or where they were going to go. These same neighbors also have a serious problem with drugs and are Rita survivors. Not that the two have anything in common just some history on the family. Anyway, Jeannie was the first person to see the fire, which she tried to stomp out with her feet. However, the fire was so hot that it melted the bottom of her shoes to her feet. Which tells me first of all, that the fire probably wasn't started by a cigarette. A fire started by a cigarette would be a low grade temperature fire, and someone stomping it out would not have the rubber from their shoes mold to their feet. Not only that, but when she has been asked who she saw throw the cigarette, she has an asthma attack. I also gather that once the place was burning, it took her about an hour to tell anyone that the place was on fire. She was too busy trying to put it out that she didn't bother to alert the neighbors, knowing full well that we have a disabled deputy in our building that would need the extra time to get out. Her excuse for that is that she tried pulling the fire alarm but nothing happened. So, she pushed it up and pulled it again. Only problem with that story is that once you pull the alarm you can't push it back up and pull it again. The fire department has to come out and disengage the alarm before it will go back into place. She was also the person who suggested someone call the media in. And when they got there she started screaming about how she had $800 under her mattress for rent, and another $400 in a coffee can. How can that be if she was due to be evicted the very next day?!! I also gathered that while the fire was going on, and everyone else was standing there in shock, they were laughing and having a good ol' time talking about how they needed some marshmallows to roast and beer to drink. Then, today when we were able to come back and salvage stuff, they never showed up. We talked to them tonight to find out why and their excuse was that they were just too depressed to go over there. We'll just forget about the fact that they have three kids that they need to worry about. But why would they care?!! They never earned anything in their house anyway. Everything was given to them by the community from when they evacuated from hurricane Rita. So NOTHING in their apartment was from hard earned paychecks. It was all handouts. Which explains why they don't care that everything is gone.

Now they have this huge advantage to play with the media. They lost everything a few months ago because of the hurricane, and now look. . . it's all gone again. Except this time it's because they brought it on themselves. Now, they no longer have a debt to pay to the complex for their eviction fees/late rent. In fact, the apartment company is now looking for another place to put them because of this unfortunate "accident". They are also back on FEMA care since they have suffered yet another disaster. Even though they spent their last card from them on a big screen tv, new cars, and drugs. Which is why they were being evicted to start with. Now they're all set up again. And it wouldn't surprise me if another unfortunate event were to find them in the months to come. I knew from the day they moved in that there was something sketchy about them, I had even told Tim that we need to keep an eye on these people. I just don't understand how someone can get like that. How can someone had total disreguard for everyone else's lives? I don't think I've ever hated anyone before, but I can safely say I do hate them. They killed my cat, they took away everything my boys hold dear, and the life and home that Tim and I have been building for the last six years.