The Fire(Part 1)
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  January 7th,2011 was probably one of the saddest days of my life.On that day I faced what was probably the most difficult crisis of my life.I thought prior events had prepared me for what I was about to go through,but I was wrong.
                For the last five years we had grown close to our 72 year old next door neighbor after the hospitalization and death of her husband,Israel.We shopped,cooked,ran errands,fed her cat,accompanied her to the movies,and spent every holiday with her including Christmas.She was a generous kind person,but at times became a little demanding.Still and all ,we were happy to help her as she had few friends and no family living nearby.We shared many laughs and used to joke about our ample stomachs,referring to them as "our alien babies".Through many difficult days we had become friends.My uncle and I were neighbors she could rely on which made what happen even more difficult.Every time she fell in the apartment either I myself helped to pick her up or I stayed with her till help arrived. 

                  That morning of the fire started off as any other day.I called to check on Claudette and offered to pick up some groceries since it was snowing.After dropping off the groceries,she complained that she was cold and was told by the super that he didn't know when the boiler would be repaired.At around 11am I heard my neighbor screaming and ran next door.Her clothes were on fire.and both her front burners were turned on.I ran to get my comforter and told my uncle to call 911.I tried smothering the flames,but it didn't work,neither did throwing throwing two pots of water at her.When the flames spread and the apartment filled up with smoke,I had to leave.I was choking on the smoke.My neighbors head was bowed by that time,and she was unresonsive.Leaving her in a burning apartment was the hardest thing I ever had to do.The FDNY showed up probably a minute later.She was handicapped and wasn't able to get out of her chair because she was flailing her arms and stomping her feet.I burnt my fingers because I tried to rip the burning top and vest off of her.I suffered second degree burns on my fingers and left foot when my boot must have caught fire.Since I was the only witness i was interviewed by both fire marshals,and detectives.Both her burners were on to keep warm,Her clothes  caught fire as she passed by.I commend the FDNY,because they put out the fire in less than a half hour.I was taken to the Cornell burn unit where I was treated for smoke inhalation and some second degree burns.My neighbor was pronounced dead at the scene.After the shock wore off came the anger.I questioned the whole unjustness of situation.Claudette died a horrible death,but the landlord was never held accountable for not providing any heat beginning the previous night.

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