Pregnant Woman Talks About Rescuing Neighbors From Fire

A pregnant woman who went back in to save her neighbors from an apartment fire say she wouldn't hesitate to do it again if she had to.

Just before 1:30 Sunday morning, Manek Campbell woke up to the smell of smoke in her apartment near 52nd and Spaulding in Omaha.

“When I opened up the door, that's when the smoke rushed in,” said Campbell.

She immediately closed the door.

“By then my two daughters were hysterical,” she said. “'We're gonna die. We're gonna die. We can't get out. We can't get out.' I said, 'Calm down. Hold on.'”

Campbell got her teenage daughters to crawl with her down the stairs and out the front door. But she heard a neighbor girl crying and went back in and got her out.

“The little girl, she was real hysterical. My mommy. My mommy. Crying. And so my first instinct was to run up there and get her mom. It was just I'm about to go and get Ebony out of this building. My fear was she was either going to suffocate from the smoke, or the building was going to blow up while she was in there.”

Connie Murphy lived in the same building and was shocked when she heard that Manek was six months pregnant.

“I think I just went numb at that point,” said Murphy. “Everything was happening so fast. And I didn't realize she was pregnant. And once I realized that she was pregnant, and she carried her down those stairs. Oh my god.”

Now both Campbell and Murphy must find a new place to live.

“I'm in a Twilight Zone,” Campbell said. “Because I don't know where I'm going to go from here. Waiting on the insurance company, waiting on the realtor company to let us know what's going on. I'm kind of shook up.”

Campbell says she was checked out at the hospital, and the baby is fine.

Both Campbell and Murphy say they are grateful to the Red Cross for taking care of them while they try to get find new homes.


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