By Jill Fox
On top of the stress and anxiety of the COVID-19 pandemic, one Coral Springs couple experienced another type of crisis when their home caught on fire.
On the evening of March 25, Erik, 25, and Alexandria, 28, were sitting at their dining room table when Erik began to smell smoke.
Alexandria said he started running around the house trying to figure out where the smell was coming from, and then he saw smoke.
The smoke soon filled the house, and the fire alarm sounded. Alexandria grabbed their baby and ran outside while Erik threw her their dog, found their cat and the fire department came.
“This all happened in like thirty seconds,” said Alexandria.
The Coral Springs Fire Department confirmed they received a call at 7:26 p.m., which turned out to be an electrical fire that started in the attic, igniting the insulation, and spreading into the air conditioner, causing black soot and debris to blow into every room in the home.
While the outer structure of the house is salvageable, the living space is ruined. The displaced family won’t be able to return home until mid-May at the earliest, and most of what was inside needs to be disposed of.
With a 19-month old daughter, and a son on the way, the couple is facing challenges, now they’re living out of a hotel room with their dog.
With Erik being on active duty in the Coast Guard, they have been understanding, even giving him time off to help with the transition. However, Alexandria, who teaches children with special needs, said the hotel room is limiting, and they feel their road ahead is long.
A self-proclaimed military family and Coral Springs natives, Erik is a graduate of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and Alexandria of Coral Springs High School. The couple bought their home near Mullins Park less than two years ago.
Friends of the family are trying to raise money to offset expenses insurance may not cover, as well as help them get by for these next few months at the Residence Inn.
Alexandria said, they appreciate any donation someone can give during this turbulent time in their lives.
She explained the Temple Beth Orr Congregation has been so helpful — donating essentials, like diapers, clothes, and toys. As a military family, they don’t have many friends, and she didn’t know who else to call.
“Sometimes, when we are feeling down and out, we hear of someone else’s reality, and it pushes us out of our depression and into action,” said Eileen Kaplan, ECC Director at Temple Beth Orr.
But, they are quickly running out of room to store physical donations in their hotel room. Now, they’re asking for assistance through a GoFundMe page.
“There is so much we will definitely need, but we have nowhere to put anything right now,” said Alexandria, “We’re not too sure what the journey ahead will look like, and everything is taking much longer because of COVID-19.”
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She has worked in public relations and television for over 20 years. Fox lives in Parkland with her husband and their two children.
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