Woman still in ICU after escaping from fire in apartments for senior citizens

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DENVER -- Carolyn  Vierling was one of the residents who had to escape a fire at the Windermere apartments in Littleton Nov. 17. “Absolutely just fear. Trying to get out and not knowing how to get out of this situation. But you know you have to get out.” said Jude Coffee, Carolyn’s sister.

Vierling was caught up in the thick black unbreathable smoke, “I think she will have permanent lung damage. They're still telling me that her lungs are compressed. They tried pulling fluid off yesterday and they didn't get anything off. That means there could be scar tissue in there," Coffee explained.

She barely got out, and has been at Littleton Adventist Hospital ever since. “Everybody wants answers. Everybody in that facility wants answers. They want to know when they can get their stuff, they want to know if they can ever live there again.”

Since the fire, Vierling has been in the intensive care unit, the simple act of breathing is now a challenge for her.  She has no living relatives other than her sister Judith. They grew up taking care of each other, their parents died when they were young.

Now, at the hospital, sister Judith waits for her sister to get better.

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