The Anderson family's apartment caught fire and their entire world was rocked. This family is so amazing and can use all the help they can get. Kyle and Lindsey are wonderful parents, and are both some of the hardest workers I've ever known and do whatever it takes to make finances meet but this financial burden is just too great to bare alone. Please consider making a donation to this family so they can try to put their lives back together as soon as possible for their babies, and themselves.
My name is lindsey. On Saturday November 2, 2019 myself and my 3 children were at home. It was around 1 pm, I asked the older kids (7 and 2) to leave mamas room and go play in the playroom or in the bedroom because mom needs to nurse the baby and hopefully get him to go to sleep. The plan was to head out to the mall bookstore and get a few books. The deal was, if we could find books for $5 or less, we could get a couple! Zeke (7) grabbed a $20 from his piggy bank and was stoked about getting some brand new books. He took his sister (2) out for me to the playroom and I nursed my 9 month old on my bed. Eventually, baby Kyle fell asleep. Now was moms chance to go and get ready!
I walked into the bathroom, washed my hands and face. Paused for a minute. There was a smell... the smell caught my attention right away. It was nothing I’ve ever smelled before. I stepped out of the bathroom and into my room. My bedroom door was still shut. The room seemed hazy though. Like there may have been some smoke in the room. But how? And that smell! What was that? It’s just me and baby Kyle here the room. I checked the fan in the window, no smoke or fire. Was my fan blowing smoke into the room from outside maybe? I checked the power strip under my nightstand, no smoke. I then focused my attention on my heated blanket. My baby is asleep under a heated blanket that could be smoking?! I unplugged the heated blanket frantically. All the while the white smoke was just there filling the room. What was happening?? I grabbed the unplugged heated blanket and threw it outside on our back porch. Was that the issue? I sprinted back to my room to see if the smoke was gone. This running back and forth caught my oldest sons attention. Mom was acting panicked. I was panicked. My room had now filled with black smoke. All fire alarms are now blaring LOUD. I noticed the black smoke coming from my closet area... I looked around and saw orange flames around the heater in my room and in my baby’s dresser. Out of sheer confusion and panic I think I said “omg omg omg omg” and had no other words.
I don’t turn our heaters on. We live on the 3rd floor, and heat rises! My fan was on in my window for fresh air. I love having fresh air in my home. I don’t use the heaters. I don’t want the added expense, and I certainly don’t want my kids using them. In my sons room, his big wooden dresser was used to block the area of the heater. In my room, my baby’s dresser was being used to block the area of the heater. I blocked them because we never use them. Never. And they don’t come on by themselves without the turn dial so blocking them from my young kids made sense.
After realizing that my baby’s dresser was on fire, I screamed for my oldest son to please grab the baby and get the baby out of the room and go outside! He did. He grabbed the baby and our 2 year old for me and he headed for our front door. I FaceTimed my boyfriend at this time. As my boyfriend answered, I was screaming to my oldest to PLEASE wait on the back porch and don’t go downstairs without me! The last thing I wanted was something to happen to all THREE of my children while I was upstairs trying to fight fire. He took the baby and our 2 year old to the back porch for me. I was able to tell my boyfriend our apartment was on fire. He cried immediately and I told him I’m sorry I have to call 911 right now. I hung up on him.
I called 911. I wanted water on the flames somehow. I grabbed a pot and a pan sitting on my counter in my kitchen. I filled them with water as I waited for 911 to answer. Time felt like it was in slow motion. Both the pot and the pan had a decent amount of water in them now. I heard “911 what’s your address?”
I told 911 there was a fire. I think she asked me where it was. I told her “the dresser the dresser. My baby’s clothes are all on fire!” I remember apologizing profusely because I didn’t know what happened. I was confused and definitely shocked. I kept saying that. “I’m sorry I don’t even know what happened and the water I’m using isn’t working!” The water was NOT working. The pots and pans were NOT helping. Like I’ve said previously, I don’t use the heaters so my focus was on trying to douse the flame in my baby’s dresser, my attention was not on the heaters at all. I could not even fathom what was happening in that moment.
911 told me it was time to stop trying to fight the fire. To get my kids and leave. We did that.
The fire department called this an accidental fire. The heater itself is under Investigation.
We are now living in a hotel. The 5 of us and our doggie Rex. A representative from a water and fire damage cleaning company came out to meet me yesterday in the lobby of our hotel in Portland. He went to the apartment and looked at the scene. He estimates at least $40,000 of personal property damage done in the apartment due to smoke and burning plastic fumes. All clothing, all beds, all bedding, all toys, all toiletries, all kitchen supplies. Our insurance can unfortunately only cover $10,000 of that. Not only was the fire itself traumatic and scary, but now the kids have to shuffle around until the damage can be controlled. The kids are confused. And tired of this. And each of them are usually very healthy, but have all managed to come down with an illness in the past week! Croup and the stomach flu so far.
We essentially have to purchase all new wardrobes + an entire apartment worth of furniture and household basic needs. We are really stressing. Thanksgiving and Christmas are ahead of us and we are literally homeless at the moment. Our thanksgiving plans have been obliterated. We are thinking this may be our first ever holiday dinner happening at a hotel!
The fire department called this an accidental fire. We still have to pay rent on our lease because we want the lease in good standing, but we still have to live and get by. But we need help!
We are so grateful for the blessings that have already come out of this. And we are grateful to you for reading and supporting us!
- Michael Lasfetto
- Tracey Spencer
- Shayna Butler
- Jamie Foteff
Organizer and beneficiary