A woman and her granddaughter escaped from a fire that heavily damaged their Omaha townhouse Saturday morning.
Firefighters responding to South 37th and Frances streets around 9 a.m. found flames and thick smoke coming from the unit. The fire apparently started in the garage and had been burning for some time.
“Everything just went up quickly,” said Amanda Youtsey, who heard "popping" sounds before realizing there was a fire. “I'm sure we lost everything we have."
That includes the pickup parked in the garage. "It was just a two-seater, but it worked for us. We only needed two seats." One seat was for Amanda, the other for her grandmother Frances. “She does walk with a cane though, but we lost that, too. This was already a very frustrating time and then this happened."
Amanda is her grandmother’s caretaker. “We've just lost all of her medications, everything she needs, her asthma inhalers." Her grandmother is a 15-year survivor of small cell carcinoma, but hasn't been doing well lately. “She just got over pneumonia and we are supposed to go back to the hospital to check for cancer again."
Doctors think the cancer may be back. "There are masses on her lymph nodes, spleen, esophagus."
Although no one was hurt in the fire, there are other issues the family is dealing with. “There are no major bumps, bruises, nothing. We all got out before it reached the house."
Amanda and her grandmother will be staying with relatives for now.