MILTON — An early-morning house fire left two University of West Florida students without any belongings other than the shirts on their backs.
On Sept. 13, Alexis Moore and Brianna Neal were asleep in their Muscogee Road home when the air conditioner caught fire.
“My roommate (Neal) woke up before I did,” Moore said. “We shared this huge bed and her head was right by the AC. She said she felt the heat first. I woke up to her screaming for help and whacking away at the fire with her pillow to smother the flames.”
The girls were able to get out safely, but lost everything they owned. Moore set up a GoFundMe account to raise money for basic supplies for living and school.
“It was surreal to say the least,” Moore said. “We all attempted to put the fire out with water, but it started spreading to the mattress and we just had to get the hell out of there. It was a trailer so the smoke filled it up quickly.
“We lost everything in the house; our two snakes, all our belongings and IDs. Trailers are basically ovens, with their metal walls and roofing to act as insulation. We were all lucky to make it out unharmed.”
The girls are staying at a friend’s house in the same neighborhood for now. Neal and Moore said they plan to move into an apartment near the UWF campus, but they first need to acquire the necessary funds. Their GoFundMe account has raised $755, but that is just a fraction of what they need.
“I guess it taught me that life is unpredictable, and that no matter the sentimental value attached, objects are just that — they can be replaced,” Moore said. “We've gotten aid from Red Cross, and we've been looking out for places in Milton to stay at temporarily.”
If you are interested in helping Neal and Moore, visit their GoFundMe account at www.gofundme.com/alexis-bris-housefire-fund.