A D.C. woman lost everything, including her gown for her upcoming wedding, after she survived a fire late last month in Southeast D.C.
Abena Disroe was in her fourth-floor apartment in the 1400 block of L Street SE on Aug. 31 when a fire broke out. Orange flames shot out a window.
But two trucks full of firefighters never made it to the scene because they crashed into each other. Engine 8, dispatched from the block of 1500 C Street SE, and Engine 19, dispatched from near 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, crashed at 15th and K streets SE, just two blocks from the fire. Eight firefighters received non-life-threatening injuries.
Almost two weeks after the fire, Disroe was living in a hotel and having medical complications.
"I’m just happy to be alive. It’s going to be rough trying to recover," she said. "I wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody, what happened to me."
Disroe said that the night of the fire, her neighbor's cat woke her up and she managed to escape. But she went back inside to rescue the cat. First responders found her unconscious in a stairwell. It took them two attempts to revive her, she later learned.
Disroe said she still has trouble breathing.
The D.C. Housing Authority wass paying for Disroe to stay in a hotel until Monday, Sept. 17. Disroe said she didn't know where she would go next. She said she might be able to move into another unit in her building, but she is concerned about the health risks of living near the fire damage.
She said she's staying strong with the help of her neighbors.
"I have my moments," she said. "Having a home and then not having a home — it's scary."
Her neighbors started a GoFundMe page to help.