MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — A hero cat survives and a mother and daughter continue to recover in Mobile two weeks after a devastating house fire that had one woman jumping from the second story to escape.
Two weeks ago smoke billowed from the roof of this Azalea Road home. The fire seriously injured 84-year-old Joan Williamson who’s still in the ICU according to the family.
“It’s going to be devastating because she does not know the full extent of this fire yet,” said her son Rick Williamson. “I mean there’s not a whole lot we can do. We depend on the doctors and nurses who have done a fantastic job and we’re just hoping she’s on the right path to recovery.” Rick Williamson says his sister, Suzette Mason, jumped from the second story to try and escape. She’s out of the hospital but still dealing with injuries.
Family members say a hero cat named Darby woke Mason up when the fire started, giving the two just enough time to escape. At first, they believed Darby died in the fire, but they discovered this week she survived and a different cat in the home didn’t make it.
“I don’t know if they would have made it out if not for the cat,” said Rick Williamson. Family members say one of the hardest parts of this fire is the fact that it’s more than a half century old and everything is gone.
“My parents have lived here as long as I can remember, my kids, this is all they’ve ever known as their grandparents house,” said Williamson. Family members say Joan Williamson couldn’t afford homeowner’s insurance due to rising medical bills before her husband passed away less than a year ago.
At this point, it appears the fire started somewhere in the kitchen, possibly connected to a refrigerator problem. The family has set up a GoFundMe page for donations.