LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — A fire that started in the kitchen of a Lewiston apartment complex just before 6 a.m. Saturday displaced 11 people, according to the Red Cross.
A woman who lives in the building on Webster Street said she was carrying a laundry basket out of her apartment when she bumped into a switch on the stove, which she believes turned on a burner and ignited items on the stove, sending smoke through the six-unit building.
The Lewiston Fire Department did not return calls for confirmation Saturday.
The Red Cross' Disaster Program manager, Eric Lynes, and multiple tenants of the building said no one was injured, but one dog was killed.
Another woman who lives there believes her dog may have helped get out of the building safely.
"I woke up to my dog looking at me, breathing on my face. I got up, went into my living room, and my kitchen was filled with smoke," said Barbara Stockwell, who lives on the second floor of the building. "They opened up the door to the apartment and flames just came gushing out. It was scary."
The building had working smoke alarms.
"You see the black smoke and all you think is run. Grab what you can and go," said Stockwell.
Stockwell is one of 11 who is getting help from the Red Cross to find a place to stay.
"The things that you need to do to help people just come forth," said Lynes, who was worked with the Red Cross for 20 years. "It's unbelievable, sure. We're people too. We put on our Red Cross vests. We get out there and we do the best we can to help people but it's hard not to become personally and emotionally involved with things like this."
Stockwell is still hoping to find her cat, Mickey Mantle.
"Pets are people too. Pets are family, and the Red Cross recognizes that as well," said Lynes.
"But I'm safe. My dog is safe, and the other people in the building, I just hope to God my cat is, that's all," said Stockwell.
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