South Sound News

South Sound fire leaves pregnant mother of five homeless

In the South Sound, a pregnant mother of five is homeless after a fire that started one floor below destroyed her apartment too.

Now she is asking for your help.

The fire happened Friday afternoon on South Lawrence Street in South Tacoma.

No one died, but everyone living in the fourplex is now homeless, including a family of six.

Neighbors could see this fire from some distance away.  In fact, we talked to a neighbor who thought it might be her apartment.

But when she arrived she saw her neighbors were the unlucky ones.

This is what greeted Beautiful Johnson, yes, that’s her legal name, as she arrived at her South Tacoma home.

“We had started walking, seeing the fire,” said Beautiful. “We thought it was our place. So, of course, we’re freaking out.”

But it was Tierra Johnson’s place.

“I was in my bedroom right here,” she said.

Johnson, no relation to her neighbor, smelled smoke but didn’t think much of it.

“Next thing, you know, my baby’s dad and daughter came banging on the door saying, ‘There’s a fire, there’s a fire,’” she said. “And we took off running.”

They escaped with only the clothes on their backs.

“I’m sad,” she said. “I’m heartbroken. I’m lost. It’s crazy how you can have everything and then, out of nowhere, lose it all.”

Tacoma fire says the flames started in the first-floor apartment, then quickly spread through the vents in the fourplex.

That sent flames to Johnson’s second-floor unit and mostly acrid smoke everywhere else.

This is all that’s left of her living room.

“It’s pretty scary and traumatizing,” said Tierra Johnson.

Now this mother of five, with a sixth child on the way, has this advice for anyone who will listen.

“Have a bag packed (be)cause you never know what will happen, what you will lose,” she said.

What has she lost?

“Everything I’ve ever had or owned,” she said. “Everything, everything was in that house.”

Johnson and children stayed the weekend at a hotel supplied by the American Red Cross.

But she says they need to find a place for tonight.

She says she has been in touch with the Tacoma Housing Authority.

A friend started a GoFundMe account.  Here’s a link.