DES MOINES, Iowa — Gina Brown lived in the same home for fourteen years, but that all changed when a fire broke out last week. Brown lost most of her belongings, but she’s grateful she made it out of the house alive.
“I reached for my side table lamp to turn it on and the whole place was filled with smoke,” Brown recalled about the fire.
The home on the corner of 18th and Pleasant Streets in the Sherman Hill neighborhood was destroyed by the fire.
Brown said her cat, Bunny, deserves a lot of credit for the both of them making it out safely.
“My cat was yelling at me worse than just wanting a toy,” Brown said. “Not even two minutes after we got out, there was a huge explosion in the back corner, and the roof just flew off like a jack-in-the-box lid.”
Brown has a safe place to stay for the time being, but has to rebuild her life due to losing items in the fire.
“I get mad at myself for not grabbing my purse,” Brown said. “However, I’m happy for myself that I was able to think on my feet.”
A GoFundMe for Brown has raised nearly $30,000, as of Monday evening. She said the fundraiser is encouraging her to get back on her feet after the fire.
“I can do this. I can work on my next step and pull myself back together,” Brown said. “It’s just been amazing to see all these people coming together for me, and I can’t thank them enough.”
The Des Moines Fire Department is still unsure on what caused the fire.