When Amy Littlefield and her fianc Bill Watson fled their burning apartment building in Bangor, Maine, they had nothing but the clothes on their backs and only two of their three animal companions.
Littlefield and Watson were awakened early Monday morning by a downstairs neighbor yelling “Call 911! Call 911!”
By the time we called 911, the flames were everywhere, Littlefield said.
They were able to grab their cats Hope and Isis, but the invading smoke forced them to leave without fellow feline Princess Tiger Lily.
The fire appears to have started on the first floor of the back portion of the five-unit apartment building and quickly spread as it traveled through all kinds of nooks and crannies within the building, said Bangor Assistant Fire Chief Darrell Cyr.
Littlefield and Watson were allowed back into their apartment at about 5 p.m. Monday. They were warned to avoid the back portion, which had been gutted by the fast-moving fire.
We wanted to look for the cat, Watson said.
While the couple searched for Princess Tiger Lily, they picked up clothing and a couple of undamaged Christmas presents that Littlefield had bought for her children. The fire destroyed most of the presents, but a few toys survived, Watson said.
We walked into the living room and were calling [Lily’s] name as we grabbed stuff, Watson said. We were calling for her and calling for her.
Then the couple was told they had to leave.
“Bill said, ‘all right, Lily, if you’re going to come out, we’re getting ready to leave now so you need to come out now,’ ” Amy said. “And I happened to catch her in the corner of my eye coming out from underneath the couch. And I looked again and there she was underneath the coffee table.”
Bill said, “I bent down and saw that she was under the coffee table. She was all hunkered down like, is everybody else gone? Has all the noise stopped? And we both lost it and just started crying.”
The couples cats are staying at a friends house until they get another apartment, Watson said.
As for Watson and Littlefield: despite the fact that they lost almost everything they owned, they’re grateful for Princess Tiger Lily’s survival.
I asked for a Christmas miracle, and I got it, said Littlefield.