ARVADA, Colo. (KDVR) — A family of four is still dealing with devastation a week after the fire at the Village West Apartments.
In body camera video released by Arvada Police Department, a family of four is seen running out of the complex after an officer was able to wake them up. Emilea Ashburn, her husband Nick and two children — 5-year-old Hunter and 3-year-old Daisy — were the family seen by all as they woke up to the flames.
Everything gone in fire, including beloved pets
Carla Butler, Emilea’s mother, recalled the horrible night.
“It’s on the body cam from him, and he could feel heat coming from their apartment,” Butler said. “Finally, they got out. They had no socks on, you know, they were sleeping, so they just had what on what they sleep in and they were running down the hallway. I think that if Officer Duffey had got there five minutes later, I’m not sure that they would be with us.”
She lives close by so she was on the scene with her family not long after they were able to escape.
“My son-in-law burst through my door about 12:20 a.m. that night with my grandson. I live about two blocks from the apartment building, and he told me the apartment was on fire,” Butler said. “So I rushed over to the scene my daughter was on the sidewalk. Hysterical.”
Everything they own went up in flames, as did their pet bird, hamsters and beloved dog Luna. Luna was brought out of the building and underwent an attempted resuscitation using oxygen, but it didn’t help.
How to help the family recover
The family of four is staying with her now, all in one bedroom, but they don’t know what’s next.
“It was surreal. You see stuff like this happening to other people, but you never think that’s something you would come to, and I am just so thankful that they got out when they got out,” Butler said. “You feel very helpless. With kids, you always want to do everything you can for them and make it so they don’t hurt, and I can’t take this hurt away,”