KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A Kansas City family needs help after they lost everything in an apartment fire earlier this month.
“I felt discouraged, like this wasn’t supposed to happen to us. Things could have been a lot worse. I’m very grateful that all 43 people made it out alive, but what if we didn’t,” Cierra Doss said.
The fire happened April 1 at an apartment building at the intersection of Linwood and Brooklyn boulevards.
Doss said within minutes, flames and heavy smoke filled the building.
Video of the dramatic escape that Doss captured shows first-responders rescuing another woman and her small baby, the last to be saved from the building.
“I was crying like, ‘Please just save the baby.’ I just kept thinking, over and over, this is not how we are supposed to go out,” Doss said. “The first thing I did was just swoop my kids up and rush them to the back. I came back inside and grabbed my grandmother because she was still sleep.”
Everyone in the four-story building was forced to relocate.
Now Doss’ home is a hotel, shared with her grandmother and three small children, ages 1, 5 and 6.
But it’s what happened after the fire that troubles Doss the most.
While the Red Cross provided immediate assistance the first few days, she said there’s been a gap in available help. Now she’s figuring out what to do next.
“I only probably had two good nights of sleep, and we been here two weeks, today,” Doss said. “They (my kids) didn’t know what to do. All they kept saying was my home is gone. That’s a hurtful feeling hearing it from a 5- and a 6-year-old.”
According to the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas, the number of home fires has gone up, but they’re continuing to work through the challenges of COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines to help provide assistance during the first days following the disasters like these.
“We don’t have concrete solid data as to the why, but we can tell you, we have seen about a 7% increase in the last couple of months,” Red Cross spokesperson Angie Springs said.
Doss said she’ll continue to remain positive, mostly thankful her family is together and safe.
“Everything can change in the blink of an eye. I don’t wish this experience on anyone. I’m just happy we all made it out,” Doss said. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family.