the apartment fire that made national news

oh hey! it's 2014.
i was enroute to nyc from my awesome ski vacay in utah when my flight was cancelled... i rebooked... the phone call connecting me disconnected and i had a 3 hour wait time... so i missed the flight... so i rebooked.... after running between terminals (american airlines fault- not mine).... i found that they bumped me.... i was bugged. i had auditions in the am. i wanted to get this year started in a great way in my city. but whatever, right? travel glitches happen all the time (this glitch was mostly blamed on frigid east coast weather and a jfk closure).  evidently  i wasn't meant to be in nyc on sunday morning.

as i was waiting at the american desk to change another flight, my best girl, kristan sent this horrifying picture of our apartment.
all that was known was that it was a 3 alarm fire and firefighters were swarming. the floor was unknown. i panicked. i started counting the floors and realized it was very near my apartment.
this fire was on 20. i live on 23. this fire faced south east and my apartment faces south.
i knew i'd be affected in some way.

i had heard that everyone was safe...but as the day progressed, that was not true.
our sweet neighbor, daniel, perished.
he did what i would have done if i had been there (i was supposed to be there). he ran out into the stairwells to try to evacuate and died of smoke inhalation. it's so terribly sad. his husband lies in critical condition now. i grieve for him and his family. i also learned that in a high rise apartment like this, you are safer staying in your apartment. did you know that? i didn't. that could have been me. i hear at least 5 little animals died as well... that could have been stellie. her little lungs wouldn't have been able to endure smoke so close.

our brave fire fighters killed the blaze in just under two hours. residents on lower floors were let back into their apts eight hours later and i heard lots of confusing reports..but nothing about whether or not my apartment had been eaten by the fire. finally, i was told that my little pad was safe from the flames. it is covered in soot. but that can be cleaned. the things i was most worried about (25 yr old scriptures, hard drives containing precious pix, one of a kind artwork) are safe.

i can't believe i have been so fortunately blessed on all accounts and grieve for my neighbors who are suffering.

i've become sort of a disaster averter.
by (what i believe to be divine intervention) i missed 9/ll, the black out, katrina, and was only 4 blocks away from being affected by sandy.
i wonder if i'm just not strong enough to handle those experiences. in every instance, i have been specifically diverted and i am really grateful.

i am stuck in utah (happily stuck, mind you) until thurs am.
i am curious to see what awaits me.
i am beyond grateful for the offers to clean, help, house me, and pray for my situation. truly. it's been humbling to see how people have supported me and loved me.
i'm gonna need a lot more of that and i'll be sure to spread it around to my neighbors.
i love them and this building so much. this is truly horrifying.

i'm going to go ahead and hope that 2014 gets easier from here.


Kika + Olivia said...

Also hoping 2014 will bring lots of blessings, Natalie!!

Lauren Doxey said...

it sounds like the Lord sure protected you. you are blessed. but i am so glad that you are safe and that your apartment didn't get burned! i am sorry you were sick as well! hopefully 2014 turns around soon! i just LOVE you! absolutely LOVE you! hugs,

Jessica said...

I have a friend who knew Daniel and his husband. Today she posted this fund that's been set up to help Michael: https://fundanything.com/en/campaigns/for-michael-todd-cohen

My heart goes out to their families. Here's hoping 2014 improves from here on out for everyone.

Sophie said...

So glad you are alright and so sorry for the tragedy that struck so close to you!

megan. said...

natalie, I am so, so sorry. how horrifying. so relieved that you were stuck elsewhere... prayers from nashville for a quick recovery, and for all of the lives lost, and affected.