But that is what happened Saturday evening in a blaze that destroyed the three-bedroom manufactured home the single mom and her 4-year-old son shared, destroying everything they owned. Smith said there was no insurance on the property.
"I fought my own house," she said.
While the cause of the fire that within minutes engulfed the home on
"It was lightning and thundering when we left," said Smith.
Fortunately, she and her son were not home. Unfortunately, 12 cats and dogs were trapped inside the inferno and perished, including a cat Smith said served as a therapy pet for her son, Oliver.
"It was late in the afternoon and we were just going to take a nap," said the 25-year-old Smith. "So we walked through and I was getting everything set up ... and we had no milk in the house. I called my mom and asked if she could take me to the store and she took me to the store and my aunt came home from work, she lives right next to me, and my house was on fire. Eight minutes and it was gone."
Smith said she owned the home and had it there a year and-a-half. She said she recently finished painting a room and put in some new carpet.
Smith returned and saw her home ablaze. She then donned her fire gear and went to work alongside her fellow PK East VFD volunteers -- who she said were relieved to see her. Because her car was outside the home, they feared she and her son were inside.
"All the guys out there all know me, and they were all crying with me," Smith said. "My guys were there within seconds, bunked out and helping me put it out."
"It's a devastating feeling when you are fighting your own house," Smith said. "I feel really defeated right now. I have fought so many other fires. I was here for the
Asked what she needs most right now, Smith replied, "I really don't know, if that makes sense. We literally have all that we are wearing right now. We need everything but I don't know where to start."
Oliver wears 4T or 5T clothing and kids size 11 shoes. Smith wears size 10-12, medium shirts, and ladies size 6.5 shoes.
Donations of clothes and other items can be left at the restaurant, located at
Smith said she began working at the
She said she wished she had been home so that she could have saved the animals or some of their possessions, but realizes there wasn't much time and it is possible she and her son would have been in trouble had they been home.
"The guys told me where I was in the back room, I would have been trapped," Smith said.
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