A woman who lost nearly everything in a Thursday morning fire, including two family pets, says it could have been worse. Now, she hopes this serves as a warning to others.
Antoinette Holmes got the most unexpected wake up call Thursday morning in her Erie Street home, but it's one that likely saved her life.
"What woke me up was the fire touched my feet. When I opened my eyes fire was in the ceiling, on the walls and everything. I had to actually feel myself to the front door," said Holmes.
Holmes says she smelled something burning a few hours earlier, but after walking through her house, she didn't find anything wrong so she went back to sleep. Investigators say that smell was the space heater, which was too close to flammable items and sparked the blaze.
"I threw two of dogs out the window for safety, but two of them...my Yorkie burned and another dog," said Holmes.
Firefighters say the heat was so intense, it melted the front Holmes' new car.
"I just thank God I'm still breathing," said Holmes. "That's the only thing I have left is the breath in my body. I lost everything."
Now Holmes hopes other homeowners can learn from her tragedy.
"Make sure at night, when you're sleeping, at least unplug them or turn them off because the results of that would be (turns to her home)...will make you look like this. You'll lose everything," said Holmes.
Red Cross is helping out with a housing for a couple of nights, while Holmes figures out what to do next.
If you plan to use a space heater to keep warm the next few days - officials remind you to keep them at least 3 feet from anything flammable.
An account to assist Antoinette Holmes has been set up at Regions Bank.
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