Fire! Fire! Fire!
The whole building was in disarray from people running helter skelter. Some running to safety others running to save something or someone. She saw her neighbor run in frantically searching for something. He pulled out a duffel bag, unzipped it and sighed in relief as he quickly grabbed it again before rushing out. His attention was solely on getting himself and his duffel bag out to safety, all her cries fell on deaf ears even though the wall between their apartment had been torn down.
She was trapped underneath a fallen pillar. It had come down on her in the process of helping to evacuate people, crushing her femur under its heavy weight. She was rendered immobile faster than she could scream help. Pain and fear bringing tears to her eyes as she croaked out a weak cry for help. She couldn’t even hear her own voice over the raging fire. Was I going to die like this? She thought.
She scanned around for anything she could use to make a loud noise, to call the attention of the people outside that there was someone trapped inside. She spotted the broken leg of a table and a fan blade detached from a ceiling fan. It was trapped between two solid objects. She struck the fan blade hard, it produced a loud bang vibrating back and forth like a tuning fork, the sound lasted few seconds, giving her some time to gather strength for the next hit.
In the distance she heard the approaching sounds of sirens, probably from the fire fighters or an ambulance.
She was on her 6th hit when she heard footsteps rushing towards her. She began to call out with all of her strength. ‘Help’. The fire was drawing closer by the second, the person located her and rushed towards her. From the looks of it the person was a civilian, he tried and tried to move the pillar but was unable to. He bent down holding her bloodied hand to reassure her.
‘Hang in there, I’ll go get help I promise’. A wave of hope filled her heart giving her the strength to fight, to hold on.
But there she was an hour later struggling to breathe and fading fast due to suffocation.
Help never came.