• Kindness and generosity bring new hope for Everett fire victims

    By: Deedee Sun


    EVERETT, Wash. - Some residents are finding new homes this Christmas, after they lost everything in an Everett apartment fire.
    The fire broke out Thursday night at the Colby Square Apartments on Colby Avenue.
    “We just moved in here not long ago at all and we just started to call it home,” said Lucy Wyles, who lived in the apartment building with her boyfriend.

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    The flames erupted just a few days before Christmas.
    “Now everything is gone. In the blink of an eye, it's gone,” Wyles said.
    Wyes was about to see the new Star Wars movie with loved ones when she found out, and rushed back still in her Wookie costume.
    “It was just crazy, the whole middle of the roof was just collapsed, gone. Everything up there was just destroyed,” she said.
    Her fear and tears that night were for her two cats, Griffy and Lola -two of the same litter.
    “That’s all I cared about. All my things are replaceable, but those cats are our world. We don’t have kids, we spoiled them, and we loved them to pieces,” Wyles said.
    Both died in the fire.
    “They were both found sleeping with each other,” Wyles said.
    She also found out that her boyfriend's renter's insurance doesn't cover her.
    “There’s nothing salvageable in there,” Wyles said.
    Then in the days after this fire, Wyles says something else happened, that again left her overwhelmed and in tears -but this time, the good kind.
    An old best friend started a GoFundMe for her.
    “I've been completely in shock. I've cried a lot, tears of happiness, tears of joy,” she said.
    The donations rolled in from friends, family, and even strangers.
    “It’s overwhelming, the love and support we've gotten,” Wyles said.
    They hit the $10,000 goal in just three days. And this Christmas, Wyles is saying thank you, to the firefighters, and to everyone who is helping her get back on her feet.
    “It’s overwhelming and it brings a smile to my face in one of the roughest times of my life,” she said.
    Others in the apartment still need more help. Wyles calls another resident, Jan Robinson, the “mom” of the complex. She says Robinson has lived there for 15 years and also lost everything, and does not have renter’s insurance.
    The GoFundMe for Robinson is here: https://www.gofundme.com/4wy3sgg
    “It’s the hardest time of the year for something like this to happen, but we're also grateful, because people open their hearts around the holiday season,” Wyles said.
    The Everett fire department says at last check, one woman is still in a hospital, in critical condition. Another woman who got hurt escaping the flames suffered minor injuries and has been released from a hospital.
    Investigators are still looking into what caused the fire.


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