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 The home sustained heavy fire, water, and smoke damage.  Photo credit:  Jessica Wilson
The home sustained heavy fire, water, and smoke damage.  Photo credit:  Jessica Wilson

Around 1 a.m. on July 5th, Ukwana McCray smelled what she thought was a burning candle. She investigated but didn’t find anything unusual and went to bed. Quantrez Murray then awoke around 2 a.m., while awake he smelled what he thought was burning plastic. He started back to bed but couldn’t shake the feeling he needed to look around the house. Quickly noticing a smoky haze inside the downstairs of the home, he went to awaken Ukwana, gather their dog and a few personal items as they left their home, and called the fire department. While collecting their belongings, he saw smoke coming down from the attic door and knew something was wrong.

Mr. Murray and his fiancée, Ukwana McCray, were able to escape with their dog safely. The fire department quickly responded and was able to put out the fire successfully. There is a possibility the fire started from fireworks, and this is being actively investigated. While they did lose most of their belongings and home, Quantrez says they are trying to look at the positive.

One positive that he mentioned was the kindness of the firemen as they worked to not only put out the fire quickly but to continuously check on Mr. Murray and his fiancée and to also retrieve items from inside the home for the couple. A cell phone, two rings, important paperwork and other items that were valuable to the couple were retrieved by the firemen. They entered the house multiple times for these items and did so with an attitude of helping this couple.

Quantrez stated that the firefighters were professional in how they worked, updated them on what was going on with the fire and their home, and also tried to encourage them about the future. Reminding them that though they had lost a lot of their material possessions that they had their lives and could rebuild. Mr. Murray said they had lost so much because they had moved here from Michigan and were really going to have to start over. But Quantrez still said that he and Ukwana were so encouraged, thankful, and blessed by the firefighters because, “with the news and all the negativity in the world, we don’t see enough positive. People are out here sacrificing their lives.” Quantrez and Ukwana know these firefighters were hot and tired but never once did they sense anything but genuine concern.

Just as Quantrez and Ukwana are thankful, our community is as well. We greatly appreciate the service and sacrifices that firefighters make to help keep us safe. Thank you again!

By Emily Pruitt Nemec

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