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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Ashley Urich’s physical scars are healing. But the emotional scars may never go away.

“She didn’t deserve to be in that house like that.” Urich said, remembering her best friend. “I tried to get her out. I tried so hard to get her out.”

A couple of weeks ago, Urich’s Fort Dodge home caught fire. Her best friend, Amy Devlin, Amy’s infant son Bryce Devlin and Urich’s five-year-old nephew Joseph Kennedy were all killed in the fire.

That afternoon, everyone was asleep upstairs when little Joseph came up and said the house was on fire. Urich grabbed her baby son Matthew and his older brother and ran.  “He woke me up. He’s the one that told me what was going on and he was really calm about it,” Urich recalld. “He was behind me . . . I had grabbed Matthew, my smallest one, and I said ‘boys stay behind me so that way we can get out the back door.'”

On the way, Urich stopped to wake up her friend Amy.  “Her and her son were in their bedroom sleeping and I woke them up and I said ‘Amy hurry up we gotta go. there’s a fire.’ She sat up and looked at me and she was supposed to be right behind me.”

But she wasn’t.

“I got to the bottom of the stairs and I collapsed. I fell. Because I got hit with flames and smoke. Me and Matthew fell.” Urich said.

By the time Urich crawled out, she realized Amy, Bryce and Joseph had not made it out of the burning house.  “All I could do is keep yelling for Amy because I could hear her breaking the glass, trying to get out. And they kept asking me if there’s anybody there and I said ‘yeah there’s somebody in there’. I said ‘somebody please go and get them’. They couldn’t get to her.”

Urich has burns over 13-percent of her body. She has undergone painful skin grafts. But that pain doesn’t compare to the pain she feels in her heart over losing the two children and her best friend.  “Amy would . . . Amy was awesome. She made people laugh. Me and her were two peas in a pod,” Urich said, fighting back tears. “We did everything together. I used to do her hair. I was there for the birth of her child. It’s killing me because I miss her. It doesn’t feel like it’s real. It doesn’t . . . Because I think I’m gonna call her phone or something and she’s gonna answer the phone but she’s not.”

Urich lost everything in the fire.  “We don’t even understand why it went so quickly. We lost everything. All of our photos. Our clothes. Everything. We have nothing now.”

It would be easy to give up right now. But Urich says she can’t. It’s not what her friend would have wanted. “Amy would probably tell me that I need to get off my butt and stop being like this and start moving on. And I want her mom to know that I loved Amy. That was my best friend and I don’t want them to feel that I don’t think about her because I think about her every day.”

If you would like to help Urich, a fund has been set up for her and her fiance at: