ILWACO — A local family is recuperating after safely escaping a fully engulfed apartment fire last week in Ilwaco.
Kayla Middleton, 24, and her three children — ages 4, 3, and 7-months — were home at about 10 a.m. Wednesday, July 22 when a fire was first reported at their apartment complex at 119 2nd Ave. SW in Ilwaco.
Middleton was asleep in her apartment when her four-year-old alerted her of the fire in his bedroom.
“I was taking a nap and my alarm was about to go off when he came in and said there was a fire in his room,” Middleton said. The fast-moving fire forced the family to quickly evacuate.
“Their bedroom walls were in flames when I saw it,” Middleton said.
Middleton wrapped herself in a blanket, grabbed her kids and fled the burning building as firefighters converged on the scene.
Middleton watched from across the street as firefighters from Ilwaco, Long Beach and Pacific County Fire District No. 1 arrived and began pumping water through a charred window and doorway.
The structure suffered severe damage overall, particularly on the south end where Middleton’s apartment was located. It was unclear what started the fire, which remains under investigation.
Ilwaco Volunteer Fire Department, Long Beach Volunteer Fire Department, Pacific County Fire District No. 1, Long Beach Police, Pacific County Sheriff’s Office and Medix Ambulance responded to the call.
Community rallies around familyEverything from clothing, toys, furniture and family photos were lost in the fire.
“We lost everything,” Middleton said, adding that she’s been staying with family in the meantime. “Everything got too much smoke, water or just burnt.”
The community has since rallied around the family in the past couple days, offering clothing, furniture and funds to help the get them back on their feet, Middleton said.
“The community has come together a lot. We are pretty much completely set back up. We got everything from clothes to people holding on to furniture until we get a place,” she said.
Friends of the family established a GoFundMe account for the family for anyone looking to donate at: www.gofundme.com/f/help-needed-for-michael-kayla-and-the-kids. As of Tuesday, nearly $2,000 had been raised.