The Red Cross was on hand Wednesday morning as victims of an apartment fire on the east side of Green Bay tried to figure out what to do next.
Desirae Bombay remembers waking up to the sound of the fire alarm, but she says she didn’t take it seriously at first.
“I thought it was a prank because some kids pulled the fire alarm last time and they ran away,” she told Local Five, “so I didn’t really wake up right away, until I heard the crying.”
The crying was coming from outside her bedroom window, where neighbors and other who lived in the complex had gathered to watch the blaze.
Desirae and her mother knew they needed to get out, but they weren’t sure at first how to escape.
“I tried to open the door and there was so much black smoke, you couldn’t see through it,” Desirae said. “[You] couldn’t walk through it, it was scary.”
Desirae and her mother finally escaped through a window, where firefighters were waiting with ladders to help the pair to safety.
At the same time, neighbors had also gotten the wake-up call, and tried to do their part to help the residents.
Trevon Danforth lives next door to the apartment complex. He and his girlfriend did what they could to lend a hand.
“We made sure everybody was alright,” he told Local Five. “We gave water to some people, my girlfriend was translating for the Hispanics that live there.”
As crews worked to control the blaze, 10 people were taken to the hospital to receive treatment for smoke inhalation.
Desirae was among that number.
“I couldn’t breathe,” she said. “I inhaled too much of that smoke trying to get out.”
All 10 people who were taken to the hospital were treated and released, and there were no more serious injuries.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.