Angels Among the Flames–March 25,1985

It was a windy March day, the kind that seems to create a vortex and blows leaves around in little whirlwinds. I had just gone upstairs to our second story apartment in an older home, with an attached barn. I brought with me our 4-month-old daughter Shara and 2-year-old Angel, a little autistic girl for whom I provided one-on-one developmental services. My 3-year-old son Andy was playing outside with his trucks and some sand out of the bucket on the porch, where the door was to go up to the apartment.

A short time later, perhaps only 10 minutes or so, Andy came bursting through the door into the apartment, yelling about a fire. I had no idea what he was talking about…until I looked out the livingroom windows and to my horror, a towering wall of flames greeted me menacingly, as they raced across the porch roof.

I ran to the door – our only exit – only to see that same taunting fire, accompanied by acrid, thick smoke, billowing up the stairs. I slammed the door shut, wet some towels, and stuffed one along the crack under the door to try to stop some of that choking smoke from entering the room. I also placed wet towels over the children’s faces in an attempt to prevent any substantial smoke inhalation, and prayed fervently, “Jesus, help me! Help me get us out of here alive!”

Gathering up the children, I ran to the opposite side of the apartment to the kitchen window, threw it open, and began screaming for help. This was a small apartment, so perhaps only 10 to 12 feet of floor space separated us from the door at the top of the stairs.

Two policemen showed up below the window; I told them I was trapped with three small children, including an infant. One by one, I dropped those precious children into the waiting arms of those heroes below.
















After that, I quite honestly cannot recall what happened…but somehow, I fell out the window, somersaulted a couple times (according to witnesses), landed head first on the concrete slab below, and life began ebbing from my body.

By the grace of God I survived, obviously, and now–28 years later–I’m finally beginning to write my story.

I don’t recall a lot of details and have had to piece things together with the help of my son, from what he recalls at that young age, and eyewitnesses, who said to their horror, as soon as I fell out the window, flames shot out the window behind me as if trying to snatch me back inside, to die a horrible death.

While I don’t remember that, I do know this: the hand of God and His angels were there, in the midst of the flames that sought to devour us. God had other plans for our lives.


Stay tuned for more details!

How about you? Have you experienced life-threatening circumstances and miraculously survived?

17 thoughts on “Angels Among the Flames–March 25,1985”
  1. Wow – glad you all survived! .

    I remember when I was younger, I almost drowned at a waterpark and in another instance my cousin almost suffocated me unconscious while horseplaying. And my friend fell asleep at the wheel. But somehow I made it out safe after those incidents.

    Near death experiences are powerful motivators as far as remind us of how thankful we are to be alive and also inspirational to others.

    Thanks for sharing k’Lee.
    Ashley Porter recently posted..Your Own Original Royal Dynasty

  2. I still can’t believe it’s been 28 years. It’s amazing, because on the one hand, I’ve got very vivid memories of that day… And on the other, it all seems like a nightmare that was just a little too real to forget completely.

    I’m so thankful that God protected all of us. Love you, Mom.
    Andrew recently posted..The Strategy of the Gospel

  3. Angels indeed!! Praise God that he answered your prayers and that those policemen did their jobs so well. So glad you are here to tell about it.

  4. I should have died October 11, 2000. There is no explanation for not having done so aside from the miraculous work of God.

    I was driving home from school, in great spirits and looking forward to attending a teacher training at the zoo! I was on Hillsborough Pike in Tampa, FL, which was a 4 lane thoroughfare that always busy. I was in the inside lane when suddenly a car headed the other direction inexplicably crossed the double-yellow lines and accelerated head-on into my older model mini-van – no airbags.

    While it happened in a matter of seconds, your brain plays it in slo-mo. I remember seeing the guy cross the lines and thinking, there’s no where for me to go. I remember hearing the sound of crunching metal and broken glass as well as the force of being hit. I could not see anything. A few minutes later I became conscious, opened my eyes, but saw nothing – – then like someone suddenly raising the shades, the black lifted and there I sat in the midst of twisted, crumpled metal. I began telling myself, “Ok, you’ve been in a bad accident…can you feel your legs? Try wiggling your toes…(which I could)” I immediately began calling out to passerbys and those who had stopped to please call 911 and then several “angels” offered to call my hubby as I did not have a cell phone. (He must have had 15 or so messages as he had gone to pick up our daughter from school and stop at the library.)

    My arms and hands wouldn’t work at first and then my hands and lower arms began violently shaking. I got myself to calm down and gingerly turned my head to the side to see if I could locate my glasses. They were on the passenger seat within easy reach – put them on, which helped.

    Two other “angels” tried to wedge my door open so I could get out, but it was an impossible task as the entire brunt of the accident had been to the driver’s front and side. I was able to move over to the passenger side and the 2 men helped me hobble around the van, across to lanes of traffic and laid down on the sidewalk. I could straighten my left leg or put any weight on it. My shoe was half-off and the ankle and foot were already visibly swelling.

    A lady who had been pushing her baby in a stroller, took one of the blankets and placed it under my head so I’d be more comfortable. She left and I’m not sure whatever happened with the blanket.

    When the paramedics arrived, they repeatedly told me that I shouldn’t be there (i.e., I should have been dead). Miraculously, the steering wheel had gone straight up, through the dashboard and into the windshield – – my dad said that Ford had designed the Aerostar that way! As they wheeled me into the ER, the paramedics began to immediately communicate to the nurse that they hadn’t been able to find their camera, she wouldn’t believe what I came out of, and then as a last effort to get through to her, the one looked the nurse in the eyes and said, “You don’t understand, we shouldn’t be wheeling her here (i.e., the morgue is where my body should have been going).

    I actually went home that evening – – fractured ankle; both wrists jammed (later found out there was torn cartilage); bruised literally from head to toe; and in the words of my doctor, “every single muscles has been sprained, strained, twisted, and/or torn.”

    God had literally spared my life that day. Weeks later, as my mind was continuing to replay and I was piecing things together, I remembered in the midst of the accident, while I was semi-conscious (at best), I had felt a breeze come from the right and flow across the front of me and the sensation of being lifted up and slightly over to the right and then set back down. It was shortly after that I became more fully conscious. I truly believe it was an angel(s) at work on my behalf as there was no way a breeze could have flowed from the passenger side across me.

    The only “signs” leftover from the accident is I have arthritis in that ankle and at times am not the best passenger in a car as I still have the tendency to “wear out the passenger side break”!

  5. […] My first encounter with an autistic child was back in 1984-1985, when I was just a few years out of college with my B.A. degree in psychology. I was hired by a local agency in Laconia, New Hampshire, to work as a “Child Specialty Trainer” with a beautiful little 2 y.o. autistic girl named Angel. Ironically, she ended up being one of the three children (the other two were my own) I had the task of saving during a fire we experienced in 1985. […]

  6. Wow! God is really watching us and He has plans for each and everyone of us. Thank you so much for sharing your story after 28 years. Indeed that everything happens for a reason.

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