ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — On Tuesday morning, a devastating fire ripped through the Cambridge Square Apartments in Monroeville, destroying roughly 36 units and leaving 65 people homeless. We spoke with a family who said what they lost in the flames can’t be replaced.
“Everything’s gone. Like that’s all I had of her, her belongings, were in my house,” said Jamie-Lee Ashley.
Single mom Ashley had recently lost her mother and placed all of her mom’s belonging in her home. Even her mother’s ashes sat in her living room.
So, when a massive fire tore through her apartment building on Tuesday morning, what she lost was priceless.
“That’s all I had of her, that was it, and it’s gone,” said Ashley.
Ashley said on the morning of the fire, she had fallen asleep on the couch but woke up when she heard a loud boom. She got her 11-year-old son up and headed for the door.
“It was filled with thick black smoke. We couldn’t leave out that way, so my first extinct was to go to his room, and we had to jump out of his window,” she said.
Once she and her son were safe, the realization that they had nowhere to go quickly sank in. Ashley and her son are both full-time students, making relocation difficult.
“It’s hard you know, but right now, I’m praying that they put us in a unit somewhere and hopefully soon,” she said.
The two are staying at a local hotel, but a GoFundMe was started to help them collect enough money for new clothes and a temporary place to stay.
And donation sites are popping up, like the one at Lelulo’s Pizzeria to help families like Ashley’s who lost everything.
On Thursday, we spoke with Peyton McCun,e the owner of Lelulo’s. She shared that she was compelled to help after she learned that a woman who works at her son’s daycare was impacted by the fire. And already she says she has collected carloads full of items. She said she will continue to collect gift cards for families until there is no longer a need.
“No one is ever ready to survive a fire. A lot of these people that I talked to said nothing was left, and being able to bring them new clothing items and food for the night, whether it was pizza or boxed mac n’ cheese, they were so grateful,” McCune said.
McCune also encourages families impacted by the fire to visit Poppin Tags Free Store and Speed Family Blessing Box in Arnold for more supplies.
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