BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT)- The days after Christmas are supposed to be filled with happiness, laughter, and fun. It’s usually a time people choose to spend at home with family and friends. Several families in the Valley Brook apartment complex off Gallant Drive don’t have that option anymore. Their homes were destroyed in an early morning fire Thursday. “My alarm did not go off, and I went to the front door,” said Lashaunda Lawson. “When I opened my door, flames just whooshed into my apartment.” Lawson and her two children were forced to jump from their second story window to escape.
“It was just scary,” said Marquita McCloud, who lives across the breezeway from Lawson. thought we were fixing to die.”
Lakeysha Roberson heard the chaos from her apartment across the field from the burning building. She said she ran over to try and help, catching an infant that was tossed to safety from an upstairs unit. “When I opened up my arms and saw how little that baby was, I was like, ‘Oh my God,'” she recalled.
“This is how we had to live our Christmas, jumping out of windows,” said Lawson.
One of the residents of the unit that initially caught fire is Iris Glass. She’s listed in fair condition at UAB Hospital. Five others, including four children, were also taken to UAB.
The complex told WIAT 42 that each of the displaced victims would be offered another unit within the property to stay. Even with that opportunity, it’s a terrible situation said McCloud. “I’ve been crying all night,” she said, fighting back tears again. “The only thing I have left to my name are my keys. I have nothing else. Nothing but my keys and my kids.”