'We watched the rest of it burn:' 3-alarm fire hits complex in Hazel Dell
HAZEL DELL, Wash. - Sam Buriss and his girlfriend Tiffany Alziebler ran from their burning third-story apartment.
Then they pulled out a phone and hit record.
They captured flames and heavy smoke pouring from the building and watched helplessly as the fire crept closer and closer to their corner unit.
"I grabbed the cat, grabbed the coat, we got outside and we watched the rest of it burn," Alziebler said.
Once the smoke cleared it was obvious there wouldn't be much they could salvage from their home.
"My whole life, everything I own everything I work hard for is in that unit," Alziebler said.
The destruction is especially tough for her to stomach. A December cold snap froze all the pipes in a different unit she was living in; the flooding destroyed pretty much everything she had.
Now she'll be calling her insurance agent for the second time in four months.
But she's the glass-half-full type and is determined to land on her feet again.
"You got to keep yourself up and keep going and doing what you got to do to survive. It's all about survival at this point. If I can get a place to live, a roof over my head, food in my stomach and clothes on my back I'm good," Alziebler said.
About 70 people were displaced. One man was burned but will be OK according to fire crews.
On Tuesday, the assistant fire marshal said the fire was accidental, but that several people still need to be questioned before determining what started it.